Kirby Misperton fracking operations

View information about the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations in Kirby Misperton.

Working with the community in Kirby Misperton

We are working with the community and our partners during hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations in Kirby Misperton to make sure local people can go about their daily lives safely and without disruption.

All agencies, including the county and district councils, police and other emergency services, are working closely together in the local resilience forum to ensure plans are in place to minimise disruption and ensure the safety of the community in Kirby Misperton.

The planning decision

In May 2016, the county council's planning committee approved an application for Third Energy to undertake fracking for shale gas in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton.

This was a single decision on a single site, which already had existing conventional drilling for gas on it. Local circumstances associated with any application remain the overriding factor in planning decisions and this decision will not have a bearing on future applications. However, local councils must work within the national policy that indigenous oil and gas are key to energy security, while facilitating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They must also consider the need for economic growth to provide jobs and sustainable communities.

We know this is a controversial, sensitive project that continues to attract opposition.

We are also proud that North Yorkshire is a beautiful place to live in, to work in and to visit and are determined it will remain so.

Information about the planning application can be found below.

High Court decision

The High Court handed down judgement today (20 December) following the judicial review of the application by Third Energy to undertake fracking for shale gas in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton. The county council's response to the ruling can be read below.

Planning meeting decision

North Yorkshire County Council's planning committee has given the go-ahead for Third Energy to undertake fracking for shale gas in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton. An official statement is available here.

Background to the meeting

North Yorkshire County Council has processed a planning application relating to testing for shale gas at an existing well site near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire and ultimately producing gas from that well.

The County Council's planning committee considered the application on Friday, 20 May and on Monday, 23 May. The committee meeting was held at County Hall, Northallerton, at 9.30am. You can view the agenda and report for the meeting here.

Live stream of the meeting

The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube below on Friday, 20 May and on Monday, 23 May, and the progress of the meeting was updated via Twitter @northyorkscc using the hashtag #nyshale.

Recordings of the meeting can be viewed at the foot of the page.

 

Running of the meeting

The county council recognised there was likely to be significant public interest in the committee meeting, so made all necessary arrangements to ensure the meeting was managed safely and effectively. On Friday, 20 May, the committee heard from speakers opposing the application. On Monday 23 May, it heard from the remaining speakers opposing the application and from those in support of the application. The meeting then covered responses to any new issues raised from public speakers and a presentation of the officer report to the committee. Members then questioned, considered and deliberated on what they had heard before coming to a decision.

As there was limited access to County Hall, the meeting was relayed to a number of meeting rooms for pre-registered ticket holders as well as an audio relay outside the building.

Application background

The county council's report about the application followed thorough consideration of detailed information provided by the applicant, along with responses from statutory consultees and more than 4,000 representations. Formal consultations took place concerning this application. All external organisations and our internal departments were consulted. You can view their responses on the online planning register, under the consultations tab. The full responses are also posted in the documents section.

A formal committee site visit to the Third Energy UK Gas Ltd KM8 well site at Kirby Misperton took place on 17 May following a regular meeting of the planning and regulatory functions committee.

Members and substitute members of the planning and regulatory functions committee received training in relation to the application. The presentations can be found on the online planning register, under the documents tab on pages 51 and 52.

Viewing documents

You can view all documents relating to this application by going to the online planning register.

The maps below show the application site in a local and county context.

Video recording of the meeting from Friday 20 May 2016

As well as being broadcast live on the day, the videos from the meeting on Friday 20 May are available to view below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video recording of the meeting from Monday 23 May 2016

As well as being broadcast live on the day, the videos from the meeting on Monday 23 May are available to view below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published: 23 May 2016

North Yorkshire County Council's planning committee has given the go-ahead for Third Energy to undertake fracking for shale gas in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton.

The committee sat for two days on 20 and 23 May and listened to more than 100 speakers before deliberating the planning officer's report and recommendation to accept Third Energy's application. This has been a long and taxing process which the committee has undertaken with very careful consideration of all the issues raised. 

This decision was a single decision on a single site in North Yorkshire which already has existing conventional drilling for gas on it. 

The planning committee was satisfied that in this particular application mitigation of the effects of the development with regard to safeguarding the natural environment, protected species and habitats, the amenity of local residents, the protection of ground and surface water quality and traffic management can be achieved through the discharge of the planning conditions.

The County Council is very aware that this is a controversial proposal of major sensitivity and complexity and that many objections have been expressed about significant and adverse impacts upon the environment and upon climate change.  

The Council is proud that North Yorkshire is a beautiful place to live in, to work in and to visit and is determined that it will remain so.  This decision does not change that fact.

Local councils are required to work within the national policy framework that indigenous oil and gas remain key to energy security while facilitating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This must be a material consideration, as is the need for economic growth and development that will provide jobs and sustainable communities. 

Nevertheless, North Yorkshire did not choose to be the first authority to make a decision on fracking within this policy framework.

The local circumstances associated with each application remain the overriding factor in planning decision-making.  The County Council planning committee has come to a decision, therefore, based on the particulars of this site. This decision does not have a bearing on future applications.

"This has been a very difficult decision for the Council to make and we know it is a difficult decision for the people of this county," said Richard Flinton, North Yorkshire County Council's chief executive. "We are proud of our beautiful county, which attracts so many visitors and maintains a thriving tourism industry. We have no intention of jeopardising those qualities and our rural industries and livelihoods. For that reason, the planning conditions must be fully discharged and monitored. In this case, there has already been drilling for gas on this site over many years. The decision taken today does not have a bearing on future decisions. Each application of this nature will be decided upon based on its own merits."

Traffic management

All traffic to and from the wellsite is due to arrive via the A169, Malton to Pickering road. It will then travel along Kirby Misperton Road, through the village of Kirby Misperton along Main Street and then onto Habton Road. Additional signage will be erected, warning the public of construction traffic and a temporary speed limit of 30mph will be in place on Habton Road, up to the wellsite access.

This route will be monitored during operations at the wellsite to ensure any damage or deterioration of the highway can be addressed. The movement of HGVs will be coordinated to avoid school start and finish times during term time.

View full details of the  traffic management plan (pdf / 4 MB).

Contact us

If you have an inquiry please contact us.

Contact us form

Alternatively, call 01609 798000.

Police working to keep everyone safe

Officers from North Yorkshire Police will be at Kirby Misperton to make sure everyone in and around the village feels safe and is safe. Officers are there to uphold everyone's rights under the law and to protect people from harm.

The latest information from the police can be found at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/kirbymisperton, as well as on Twitter @NYPKirbyMisp and on Facebook at NYP Kirby Misperton.

To speak to the police about any issues that concern you, call 101. In an emergency, dial 999. General enquiries can also be emailed to general.enquiries@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Frequently asked questions - planning conditions

We gave planning consent subject to planning conditions to Third Energy to undertake hydraulic fracturing for shale gas on the Kirby Misperton site in May 2016.

This was a single decision on a single site in North Yorkshire which already has existing conventional drilling for gas on it. The decision does not have a bearing on future applications.

The local circumstances associated with each application remain the overriding factor in planning decision-making.

However, local councils must work within the national policy that indigenous oil and gas are key to energy security, while facilitating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They must also consider the need for economic growth to provide jobs and sustainable communities.

We are aware this is a controversial project of major sensitivity and complexity and that there is widespread concern about the impact it may have upon North Yorkshire’s beautiful environment and upon climate change.

The planning committee set out a series of planning conditions to be discharged to mitigate the effects of the development with regard to safeguarding the natural environment, protect species and habitats, the amenity of local residents, protect ground and surface water quality and an agreed traffic management plan.

We agreed planning conditions with Third Energy on 11 September 2017. As a result, on 12 September the company served seven days’ notice that it will begin phase one of the operations in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton after 19 September 2017.

Operations can now go ahead subject also to the licencing and permitting regimes of other statutory agencies (Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Oil and Gas Authority). The Secretary of State must also give final approval.

The key conditions for the county council relate to:

Prior to the start of the operations, North Yorkshire County Council highways will be provided with a contact from Third Energy who will deal with any concerns or issues raised in respect to traffic management. The Third Energy contact will be available 24 hours a day and will ensure that issues are dealt with promptly and investigated.

County council officers will monitor traffic movements on the ground and we will be monitoring and visiting the site. We will work with the company, the police and other statutory agencies to ensure compliance.

We will be open to members of the public bringing issues to our attention and we have set up a dedicated web page where any issues can be raised with us. Enquiries and complaints will be dealt with appropriately and as quickly as possible.

We are a large authority and we are effective enforcers on planning. Ultimately, we can use prosecution if necessary.

The county council, along with the North York Moors National Park Authority and City of York Council, have been consulting on the draft of a new minerals and waste joint plan.

The plan includes further robust protection measures for residents and the environment, to guide future minerals and waste planning applications for developments such as fracking.

The plan still includes an extended buffer zone to protect residential locations as well as environmentally important places such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nature conservation areas and important historic sites.

Once given final approval, the minerals and waste joint plan will become the key reference for planning decisions for development for the next 15 years.

Frequently asked questions - roads and traffic

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and delivery vehicles travelling to the wellsite will, under normal operating conditions, follow the specified route:

  1. travel along the A169;
  2. turn west onto Kirby Misperton Road;
  3. before traversing Kirby Misperton Bridge, all vehicles classified as an abnormal load (no more than three or four are expected) must limit their speed to 5mph and, when crossing the bridge at 5mph, must do so in the centre of the road, away from the bridge parapets;
  4. after approximately 2.4km, bear left at the roundabout on to Main Street leading to Habton Road;
  5. all site traffic shall strictly adhere to a Third Energy voluntary 20mph speed limit along Main Street and Habton Road;
  6. all site traffic shall strictly adhere to a speed limit of 30mph along Habton lane between the village of Kirby Misperton and the entrance to the wellsite; and
  7. after approximately 1.3km, turn right on to the access track which leads to the KM8 wellsite.

When exiting the wellsite, the directions are the reverse of the above.

All drivers are required, under normal operating conditions, to follow the specified access route and speed limits. Any non-compliance may result in the driver being removed from the project.

It is anticipated there will be a total of 388 vehicle movements associated with the hydraulic fracture phase. During peak times of mobilisation and demobilisation, the estimated HGV movements will be four per hour, over a four-day period between the hours of 7am to 7pm.

To ensure there is sufficient vehicle access to the wellsite, vehicles may be held in lay-bys (staging points) on the A64 and A169 until called forward to the wellsite.

At no time should vehicles be waiting or queuing along the designated access route to the wellsite.

We are aware that temporary road closures of sections of Habton Road in Kirby Misperton have been put in place by North Yorkshire Police over recent days and that these have been deemed necessary for safety reasons when protests have taken place outside the KM8 wellsite at Kirby Misperton. As a result, traffic has been diverted through other villages in the vicinity of the site. 

We sympathise with the communities and understand the very real concerns of residents affected by the diverted traffic. We expect the company involved in the current operations at the KM8 wellsite to do everything it can to comply with the approved  traffic management plan (pdf / 4 MB), but we also acknowledge that there may be specific instances where the police need to instigate road closures in the area. In such circumstances, we will look to ensure diversion routes are signed to minimise any disruption which will occur.

HGV movements, with the exception of emergency access, will be avoided between 8.05am to 8.35am and 3.40pm to 4.10pm, Monday to Friday, during school term time.

We have erected diversion signs relating to a road closure used periodically by the police to manage activities leading to the site safely. We have agreed with the police that our yellow diversion signs will remain even when the road is open to enable closure to be implemented without delay, if necessary. However, the yellow diversion signs will come into effect only if a closure is put in place by the police. Specific signs highlighting the alternative route to Flamingo Land are in place as part of the diversion.

The police have raised concerns relating to the safety of protestors and visitors to the site at Kirby Misperton as well as people travelling along Habton Road. With the number of large vehicles visiting the site, and number of pedestrians close to the entrance, the police want to ensure the safety of everyone involved, and therefore requested that this clearway is put in place. The clearway designates an area of the highway to be clear of any obstructions. The clearway extends for 48m on either side of the site entrance on Habton Road.

In creating the clearway, anyone found to be creating an obstruction will be served with fixed penalty notice and told to move their vehicle. If the vehicle is not removed, we will arrange for it to be towed away / removed.

With the number of individuals attending the site at Kirby Misperton, and given that the site entrance is situated on a road which is open to the travelling public, the police have asked us to provide a safe area for pedestrians to stand. This will help to ensure their safety and the safety of road users when vehicles are entering the site.

We will review what reinstating we will need to do in due course.

Frequently asked questions - fracking operations

Before fracking can begin, phase 1 requires a noise attenuation barrier and rigging, as well as equipment for hydraulic fracturing, to be delivered to site. 

The noise barrier is now in place, as is the rigging. We have received formal notification from Third Energy, on Thursday 19 October, of their intention to begin phase 2 fracking operations after seven days. This letter can be viewed on our planning portal. Third Energy must also ensure that they have the relevant permissions from the Secretary of State and other agencies, prior to beginning operations on site.

Each hydraulic stimulation (frack), from beginning to end, is anticipated to take approximately five hours to complete and will be done during daylight hours. However, preparation times, including rigging up and rigging down of equipment, extends the overall duration of the hydraulic fracture phase to approximately six weeks.

The hydraulic fracture phase of operations will be carried out 24 hours a day; however the actual hydraulic fracturing will only be undertaken for relatively short periods during the daytime.

We will be working with both Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire Police to ensure we keep the local community in Kirby Misperton updated and address their concerns.

We will work with the police to make sure local people can go about their daily lives safely and without disruption and that both we and other agencies can continue to deliver our services. We have been working hard to ensure our services continue to be delivered to local communities, such as school bus services and home care services and that any disruption is kept to a minimum. 

The police are taking a neighbourhood policing approach to any protest activity and will be engaging with people to ensure any protest is safe and peaceful, whilst balancing the needs and rights of the wider public, local communities and the rights of all, including the energy companies, to go about lawful and peaceful activities.

Production of shale gas depends on the outcome of earlier phases, the fracking operation and the test that follows.

Contact details for other agencies involved in regulating the wellsite are below.

Environment Agency

Please report incidents that relate to waste management, odour or pollution of local water courses to the 24-hour Incident hotline 0800 80 70 60.

You can find contact details for the Environment Agency plus information on the regulation of Third Energy on the Third Energy Kirby Misperton information page.

Ryedale District Council

Most matters are covered by the Environment Agency and the county council; however, environmental health officers can be contacted at specialistenvironment@ryedale.gov.uk.

Health and Safety Executive

Safety on the drilling site, including well integrity, is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive. Contact the Health and Safety Executive with any concerns.

Oil and Gas Authority

The Oil and Gas Authority regulate seismic risks from hydraulic fracturing through a traffic light monitoring system. Read information relating to their role. The Oil and Gas Authority can be contacted at oga.correspondence@ogauthority.co.uk.

Public Health England

Public Health England has an advisory role on the potential public health impacts of exposure to chemical and radioactive pollutants as a result of the shale gas extraction process. Public Health England can be contacted at shale.gas@phe.gov.uk.

Operators hotline

Third Energy’s contact details can be found here.

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