Businesses join group opposed to fracking

ANTI-FRACKING campaigners have launched a business group opposing plans to use the controversial mining method in North Yorkshire which already has the support of 180 local firms.

An anti-fracking poster on the garden gate of a house in Kirby Misperton. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

The Frack Free Business Group is made up of businesses who rely on tourism for their income as well as wider industries including farming and construction.

Paul O’Hanlon, the manager of the Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley and a founder member of the Frack Free Business Group, said. “We rely on tourism for our business, which in turn supports the local economy.

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“We also cater for seasonal shooting parties and are concerned what effect fracking would have on our countryside, and wonder whether people would still want to visit Ryedale.”

The group is opposing the proposals by Third Energy to carry out test-fracking operations at a site near Kirby Misperton.

It wants to see if gas can be produced from the test well in quantities that would make it commercially viable.

Under an industry agreement, the local community stands to benefit financially if the fracking goes ahead.

Third Energy has asked North Yorkshire County Council for planning permission to carry ou the test-fracking and the authority is currently accepting representations before making a decision.

The company rejects suggestions from the campaigners that fracking - which involves sand, water and some chemicals being forced at high pressure into underground rock formations - poses a risk to the environment.

The Government has given strong backing to the development of a UK fracking industry.