Frack Free Ryedale Lose their Judicial Review
20th December 2016
Campaigners from rural Ryedale are outraged today after a high court ruling looks set to give the green light to hydraulic fracturing in the village of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.
Judge, Mrs Justice Lang, has released her decision on the Judicial Review brought by two local residents and Friends of the Earth and thrown out campaigners claims that the planning permission granted to Third Energy was unsound on grounds of climate change impacts and not making provision to protect the community from future detrimental impacts of the industry.
By way of consolation, in her judgement Mrs Justice Lang made clear it was the responsibility of the Council’s planning committee (and so in other fracking areas) to reach an independent view on whether “energy requirements ought to be met by other, less environmentally damaging means than gas production and a gas-fuelled electricity generating station” [paragraph 57].
Moreover, Mrs Justice Lang reassured the local community that the terms of the planning conditions imposed by the Council should “afford a considerable degree of protection to residents” and “extend beyond mere restoration to a programme of aftercare, in accordance with Planning Practice Guidance [PPG]” [paragraph 64].
David Davis, one of the residents behind the legal action said:
“We respect Mrs Justice Lang’s decision whose duty was to carefully interpret the law as it stands today. Our greatest disappointment is with the government, our own MP, and an industry who are conspiring to force fracking on unwilling communities with the threat of overruling any councils who refuse planning permission.
“Our own County Council failed to respect residents wishes and those of the District Council, five town councils and 14 parish councils in Ryedale who objected, and did not even have the courage to use the authority’s own draft Minerals and Waste Plan as a basis to throw out this application.
“Third Energy will now press ahead with its plans at Kirby Misperton. Sadly, this decision will open the floodgates to other fracking companies such as INEOS who together have plans for more than 14,000 wells in Ryedale alone. Large areas of Yorkshire, the North and the Midlands are covered by Petroleum Exploration and Development licences for fracking which if exploited will lead to the widespread industrialisation of our countryside.”
Jackie Cray, who also took part in the legal action and lives just half a mile from the Third Energy site said:
“We are devastated that this decision allows the government to continue to ignore the views of local people in this case. We are saddened that the very sound grounds that that were raised in the case have been dismissed in the ruling.
“We will not be defeated though, because we hold firm in the belief, supported by a huge amount of evidence, that fracking is wrong, and will continue to campaign against this ‘stop-gap’ industry that the Government is trying to force on communities across the country.
“We, backed by people across Yorkshire, nationally, and internationally, will continue to campaign until fracking is completely banned. We thank everybody who has pledged their support for our community and for Frack Free Ryedale’s ongoing campaign”.