Fracking should go ahead in Yorkshire, council officials have said, in a decision that could pave the way for the controversial process to take place this year.
North Yorkshire County Council’s planning officer recommended that Third Energy’s plans to frack for shale gas at a site in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale, should be approved by councillors.
The proposed fracking would be the first to take place in the UK since 2011 when Cuadrilla caused two earth tremors attempting to frack near Blackpool.
The positive planning officer’s recommendation, which follows months of consultation, sets the stage for a crucial vote by councillors next week.
Hundreds of anti-fracking campaigners are expected to protest against the plans when the 11-man planning committee meets next Friday.
Ministers are keen to see fracking proceed but attempts to do so have so far been plagued by setbacks and delays.