North Yorkshire County Council has announced a decision date for controversial plans to frack in Ryedale.
The long awaited planning committee hearing will be held on Friday May 20 at County Hall, Northallerton.
There has been more than 3,000 written objections sent to the county council planners objecting to Third Energy’s application to frack at Kirby Misperton, near Malton.
Ryedale District Council Planning Committee members, as well as town and parish councils local to the site have passed motions against fracking, reflecting the overwhelming opposition from communities right across the district.
Ian Conlan, Malton resident, said: “This is a hugely important application for everybody in Yorkshire. Huge swathes of the county have been licensed for fracking, despite widespread opposition, but it will be county councillors that decide on whether to allow fracking a foothold. Government ministers have already indicated they wish to progress large scale fracking applications for multiple wells after pushing to get exploratory fracking approved locally.
"The public should be under no illusions about the huge impact that very noisy and intrusive 24 hour, 7 day a week drilling and fracking would have on the area and people's well being.”
Rasik Valand, Chief Executive of Third Energy said: "We are pleased that the North Yorkshire County Council has now set the date for the Planning & Regulatory Functions Committee to consider our application to hydraulically fracture certain sections within the existing KM8 well in Kirby Misperton.
"We look forward to the planning committee members’ visit to the operating well site in Kirby Misperton as they will have the opportunity to see the well site as it operates; understand the environmental protection measures already in place, and the high standards to which the site was built. ”
“We have taken every possible step in this application to minimise disruption to the local community, as well as ensure that our plans will not impact the local environment. To be clear, the programme detailed in his application is actually of a smaller scale and shorter time than the drilling of the KM8 well 2013.
"The hydraulic fracturing and testing is a key step towards determining the viability of producing gas from this hybrid sandstone and shale formation in North Yorkshire.”