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UK Courts To Decide Whether Fracking Permission Is Legal

Victoria Prest, The York Press

Fracking in North Yorkshire is facing a legal challenge, less than a month after a controversial council decision to allow the process to start.

Campaigners are writing to North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) about the decision its planning committee took in mid May, allowing Third Energy to start extracting shale gas at Kirby Misperton.

Both Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth believe that climate change concerns which they say were ignored by the county council give them grounds to legally challenge the planning permission.

Friends of the Earth’s legal advisor Jake White said: “Communities have no right of appeal against fracking decisions, only developers do. Friends of the Earth and local people can’t appeal to get the councillors’ decision over-turned. Given that we have legitimate legal concerns it is only right that the court may be called upon to decide them.”

He added: “Because the decision appears to have been arrived at without properly considering climate change, we believe it to be unlawful.”

The campaigners say the county council did not consider the impact that burning shale gas extracted at Kirby Misperton would have on the environment. They are now writing to NYCC, and say they may seek a judicial review if they do not receive a satisfactory reply.

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