Yorkshire MP Urges Shale Industry to Protect Landscape

10.02.2016 -

Companies wishing to carry out hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Yorkshire will have to prove they have made efforts to reduce the impact of drilling on the landscape, a Conservative member of the UK Parliament has asserted.

At a meeting in London with representatives of shale gas exploration license holders Cuadrilla, Ineos, IGas and Third Energy, Kevin Hollingrake, the MP for Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire, told the newspaper Yorkshire Post he had conveyed concerns of local citizens that drilling sites could mar the countryside.

Hollingrake said he believes fracking sites should be three miles apart and one mile from the nearest villages and towns and has asked the fracking companies for information as to whether they can comply with his suggested guideline.

Along with Lancashire, North Yorkshire is a focus of the British shale gas industry, and exploration licenses are said to cover three-quarters of the MP’s constituency.

According to the newspaper, Hollingrake stressed that he is not opposed to shale gas exploration, as this could create energy security and jobs. However, he said drilling companies “depend on the good will of the people and they need to take the people along with them.”

If the companies do not go about their work in an “acceptable manner,” the Yorkshire representative said he would “ask for legislation.”

Hollingrake is in the process of establishing an All Party Parliamentary Group on shale gas regulation and planning in the UK’s House of Commons.

The government in London is keen to establish a national shale gas industry and has hinted it may override some anti-fracking decisions of the past that went against the industry. One of the decisions up for review is Third Energy’s delayed application to carry out exploration at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.