Council misses Government fracking deadline

North Yorkshire County Council has missed a Government deadline for a planning application for fracking.

The county council was due to make a decision on the application by Third Energy, in regard to a shale gas application, by 18 November, in line with the Government’s timescale.

The Government announced new regulations around fracking in August, including a statutory 16-week timeframe for applications.

According to the regulations, if a council fails to meet the timeframe, the Government can intervene and ensure that all future applications to that local authority are made by the communities secretary instead.

Speaking in August, Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, said: ‘People’s safety and the environment will remain paramount and communities will always be involved in planning applications but no one benefits from uncertainty caused by delays in planning decisions. 

‘By fast tracking any appropriate applications today’s changes will tackle potential hold ups in the system.’

In a statement, North Yorkshire County Council said it began a further 21-day consultation on 4 November, for comment on new material provided by Third Energy regarding at the KM8 well site near Kirby Misperton.   

“This material has been provided as the result of a request from the county council for further information under environmental impact assessment regulations,” the statement adds. 

“These regulations require that as planning authority we advertise, consult and make the new information available for comment for not less than 21 days. We are therefore unlikely to meet the 16-week determination date of November 18.” 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues