A group of faith leaders working in the Ryedale area has met with representatives of Third Energy, the company planning to extract gas by fracking based at Kirby Misperton.

The group approached Third Energy following a 1st March 2017 appearance on BBC Look North by Director of Operations John Dewar, inviting those with genuine concerns about the fracking plans to discuss them with him.

Writing to Mr Dewar on the 30th May, the group explained that with the exception of the Quakers, their respective churches' positions were neither in favour of fracking nor opposed to it, but based on the need for legitimate local concerns to be fully heard and addressed:

“We would like to discuss the regulatory challenges around fracking, the way Third Energy intends to deal with issues such as transport demand, water, lorries on small roads, the potential visual impacts on the countryside and mitigating impacts on tourism.

“We would also like clarity around what Third Energy hopes to achieve if fracking is successful.”

Following today’s meeting, the Bishop of Selby who facilitated the meeting said,

“The possibility of fracking in Ryedale has stirred up real passions in the community locally and further afield too.

“We were grateful for the opportunity to meet people from Third Energy and talk directly with them about the impact of their plans on real people’s lives – including everything from traffic levels to tourism as well as long-term environmental concerns.

“They were keen to listen and responded in depth to the questions and concerns we raised. In the light of this we would urge further and ongoing engagement between Third Energy and the local community if they are to demonstrate the care they are prepared to take as they develop their plans.

"There remains considerable anxiety about future impacts in these communities and as faith leaders from the area, we are committed to ensuring that these concerns are addressed.”

  • The group comprised the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby (Church of England); the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby (Church of England); the Rt Revd Terry Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough (Roman Catholic); the Revd Janine Atkinson (United Reformed Church); the Revd Tim Robinson, Area Dean of Northern Ryedale (Church of England); Wing Commander Ian Henley, Lay Dean of Northern Ryedale (Church of England); Paul Elliott (Ryedale Quakers).