RYEDALE District Council (RDC) has voted decisively for fracking planning decisions to be made at county level - and to reject Government proposals to automatically allow gas prospecting.

The vote, taken at Thursday’s full council meeting, decided the authority’s response to a Government consultation on the issue.

Members opted to endorse the local control of fracking decisions by the county council and to support the recently completed ‘mineral and waste joint plan’ and the definitions within it.

RDC officers will also write to the Government rejecting its plans to reclassify exploratory drilling for gas so it needs no planning permission.

After the meeting, David Davies of the Frack-Free Ryedale group said: “It’s a good day for local democracy when councillors work across party divides to make the right decision for Ryedale.

“Today our councillors sent a strong message to Westminster.”