Hundreds turned out to protest against the application to frack at Kirby Misperton yesterday.
But, after two days of discussion at County Hall in Northallerton, councillors voted to allow Third Energy to test-drill for shale gas at the village of Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.
It is the first application approved in the UK since 2011.
Professor Paul Ekins, professor of resources and environmental policy at University College London, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the decision was a "political watershed".
Anti-fracking wider groups fear the wider implications that North Yorkshire may now become inundated with fracking sites.
The Government made public its desire for the UK to "go all out for shale" in 2014 to provide energy, boost the economy and create jobs.
After the vote, North Yorkshire Police tweeted a warning to protesters.
It read: "Please be aware, the police will take action against unlawful behaviour linked to the #nyshale protest."
Last week the North Yorkshire’s Police Federation said fracking demonstrations could also pose a “significant challenge” to over-stretched police resources in parts of the region.