YP Letters: My fears over fracking, by Castle Howard's owner

From: The Hon Nicholas Howard, Castle Howard.

A campaigner reacts to North Yorkshire County Council's decision to grant fracking.

I HAVE WORRIES about fracking on several counts:

* The methods proposed to extract the gas have not been tested in this country.

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* The local infrastructure, particularly roads and transport, is not robust enough to cope with the massive increase in heavy vehicle movements.

* The regulatory framework is not entirely fit for purpose.

Any attempt to discuss the above with representatives of the industry or government (including the local MP) only results in patronizing denials of the potential problems.

The same half-truths keep being trotted out by the industry, despite categorical rebuffing

Castle Howard is surrounded by Grade 1 monuments, buildings, and other structures, not the least of which is the finest non-urban collection of Hawksmoor buildings in the country. These are prime heritage assets for which I am responsible. I would be derelict in my duties were I not to raise the possibility of their ruination through seismic events caused by the hydraulic fracturing process and associated processes. It has yet to be demonstrated that this is not a material worry.

From: Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby.

FOLLOWING the decision by North Yorkshire County Council to allow fracking to commence in Kirby Misperton, it is imperative that the most robust and rigorous monitoring regime must be maintained both to ensure that production is safe and that the long term future of this area is not jeopardised.

While there are differences of opinion among Christian people about the merits and safety of hydraulic fracking, protecting the extraction environment and sustaining often fragile rural livelihoods represent a commitment to care for God’s creation and our love of our rural neighbours.

From: John Paddison, Drummore, Wigtownshire.

I REALLY feel sorry for the poor folk of North Yorkshire having to put up with a little bit of fracking. Where do they think the fuel for their fires and electricity has come from all these years?

It came from coal mined in nearby West Yorkshire. The good folk of the West Riding have had to put up with coal mines, pit stacks, open cast mining and smoke belching coal-fired power stations for most of the 20th century.

North Yorkshire has remained a rural idyll. It is now North Yorkshire’s misfortune to have gas underneath its landscape, just as in years gone by the West Riding had coal. Our stupid governments have shut the collieries and coal-fired power stations, and have placed misguided faith in gas burning power stations and useless wind turbines. If North Yorkshire wants to keep the lights on in the future, the choice is stark. It’s either plaster the whole of North Yorkshire from Pennines to North Sea with wind turbines or have a few fracking sites. I know which I would choose.

From: AW Clarke, Wold Croft, Sutton on Derwent.

FORGIVE my cynicism, but why am I not surprised that the first fracking is to be done in North Yorkshire? It was never likely to happen in Surrey or Sussex.

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

NORTH Yorkshire voters need to understand what has happened: seven elected representatives failed to represent their constituents and failed to ensure their safety.

From: Jarvis Browning, Main Street, Fadmoor, York.

I AM very disappointed that we have lost the fracking vote. We hope that those councillors who voted in favour will hang their heads with conscience as to the outcome. Can one sue those who voted in favour, for lost of income if and when that happens?

From: Rob Laycock, Littlegarth, Lastingham.

THERE is more than one way to show opposition to fracking in Ryedale. Concerned readers can show their opposition by supporting the hundreds of businesses around Ryedale who have declared themselves as Frack Free Businesses.

For example, in my local town Kirkbymoorside, you can support a butcher, a florist, an electrical shop, a garden centre, an osteopath and an insurance broker, all of whom are proudly displaying their Frack Free Business window stickers.

If you are in Helmsley you can have afternoon tea at the Black Swan, drink beer from the Helmsley Brewery, and so on. Not all Frack Free Businesses openly display their window stickers but this decision should encourage more of them to demonstrate their opposition to fracking.

From: Jerry Doccox, Front Street, Sowerby.

I WOULD like an explanation from the Government as to how exactly fracking for gas and airport expansion is consistent with legally-binding targets to reduce carbon emissions.

In supporting fracking, the Tories have again demonstrated their blind determination to over-ride not only local, but also global cocerns in order to allow fossil fuel companies to continue to prosper at the expense of people and the planet.

From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon, Leeds.

NO doubt the approval by NYCC for fracking operations was given with conditions attached. Two essential ones are the environmental consequences and secondly the volume of gas extracted – was it economically justified? Both should be reviewed on a regular basis say every six months, or annually, unless there is good reason for immediate action.