COUNCIL chiefs are looking into a number of complaints about the anti-fracking camp at Kirby Misperton.

The camp, which has been there since before Christmas, has gradually grown as more demonstrators join the protest.

Ryedale District Council’s head of planning Gary Housden said that the first few weeks had been relatively low key, and that the council had not received any complaints for some time after the camp was established.

However, he confirmed that in the last three weeks or so they have received about 12 complaints about the camp.

He said: “They are mainly concerns over highway issues, about the number of visitors and parking on the roadside at the site.”

Mr Housden said the planning department was gathering information and if there was a decision to be made on the camp, it would be made by the councillors on the planning committee, which would be at the earliest in March, but probably later.

Eddie Thornton, one of the protestors, said: “The parking is something that we are trying to deal with. But in wet weather, people have to park by the road.”

He said that police have told them that cars are allowed to park on the roadside, but added they are appealing for temporary parking in the community.

“I think this is one thing that people are trying to target us with,” he said. “We see this as an orchestrated campaign by pro-fracking groups. If they have 12 complaints, compare that against the levels of support we have.”

Mr Thornton said that a group of the Protection Camp members had been over to Chorley in Lancashire at the weekend to help kickstart the campaign against fracking there.

He said this action had led to two companies, including Armstrong Aggregates of Bolton, to end their involvement with fracking firm Cuadrilla.

“This is what we are intending to do at the Yorkshire site as well,” he said. “We are seeing local businesses waking up and pulling out and deciding it’s not worth their while.”