From: Coun Paul Andrews (Ind), Ryedale District Council, Malton Town Council, Habton Parish Council.
FRACKING has not gone away – even if much of the KM8 scheme at Kirby Misperton has now been dismantled.
KM8 is in limbo because Third Energy were unable to satisfy the Government in regard to their financial viability for fracking at the site.
In the meantime, the North Yorkshire Joint Waste and Minerals Plan (JWMP) has progressed. The draft of this plan has a separate section concerning fracking.
This prohibits all fracking in the National Park and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but, outside these prohibited areas, it allows 10 drill pads, each two hectares in area (approximately twice the size of KM8) every hundred square kilometres.
One hundred square kilometres approximates to 38 square miles – an area six miles by six miles – which equates to drill pads at intervals of one and a half to two miles in every direction, or 50 in the Vale of Pickering alone.
This is what the industry requested.
However, there are restrictions, including a 500m buffer zone between drill pads and houses, and a 3.5 kilometre zone outside the National Park and AONB, where special landscape considerations would apply.
The JWMP was given a public examination before a government inspector, Mrs Elizabeth Ord.
The inspector found that the JWMP was sound, apart from some tweaking which was agreed.
However, within days, officials of the Department of Communities and Local Government requested copies of the plan and its policies, particularly those relating to fracking.
My conclusion is that the Government and the industry will stop at nothing to get what they want – which includes the total desecration of our beautiful countryside including the National Park and the AONB.
This is why they have already started consultation on changing the planning legislation so as to allow, without planning permission, test fracks such as those which were given planning permission at KM8 everywhere.
Another consultation is taking place on whether all fracking applications will be referred to a government quango in London for determination.
This body has no local accountability. We are waiting to see the outcome.