NORTH Yorkshire County Council have today confirmed that they have fully signed off the planning conditions for fracking at Kirby Misperton.

In addition, energy company Third Energy have filed a 'notice of commencement', indicating that 'pre-stimulation' work will start from Tuesday, September 19.

However, a Third Energy spokesperson said the fracking operation itself requires final signoff from the Environment Agency and the Secretary of State.

They said: "Third Energy is pleased that the final pre-commencement planning conditions have now been discharged.

"This includes the traffic management plan which was approved today by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) ahead of operations at the existing Kirby Misperton wellsite.

"The consultation response from NYCC highways stated ‘there are no local highway authority objections to the proposed development.’

"We see this not as a victory but as a huge responsibility.

"During the development of this plan Third Energy consulted with the police and local community, to ensure its operations are safe and have minimal impact upon the local area.

"The KMA wellsite has existed for over 20 years without traffic incident, and coexists alongside Flamingo Land."

Richard Flinton, North Yorkshire’s chief executive, said: "The county council is very aware that this is a controversial project of major sensitivity and complexity and that there is widespread concern about the impact it may have upon North Yorkshire’s beautiful environment and upon climate change.  

"We gave planning consent on a single site which already had drilling for gas on it and this was subject to rigorous planning conditions which we have now agreed.

"Our role now is to ensure that the planning conditions are fully discharged and monitored."

The county council gave planning consent subject to planning conditions to Third Energy to undertake hydraulic fracturing for shale gas on the Kirby Misperton site over a year ago.

In a statement, the county council said that today the final conditions were signed off.

These relate to traffic management; to the prevention of mud on roads and to the financial commitment required of Third Energy - or any subsequent owner of the site - to deliver the restoration and aftercare of the development.

In response to the news, protestors are organising a candlit vigil outside the wellsite.

A spokesperson said that at 8pm tomorrow they will gather at the gates of KM8 well site to mark the beginning of the next phase in the campaign.

"All are welcome to join the vigil," they said, "which will include music, prayer and a short ceremony."

Local campaigner, Eddie Thornton added: "The candle lit vigil marks a shift in the focus of the communities’ campaign.

"Democracy has failed us. Now it’s time to take action against this poisonous industry, which will industrialise our countryside for the sake of corporate profit.

"We hope the vigil will set the tone for the coming campaign; peaceful, calm and prayerful."