On 7 July 2016, local community groups Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth applied to the High Court to judicially review the decision made by the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) regarding Third Energy’s permit to frack in Kirby Misperton.

The decision to allow fracking was made despite the fact that 99 per cent of the responses to the NYCC’s consultation rejected the proposal.

The applicants for the judicial review have relied on the following two grounds:

1) in reaching its decision, the NYCC had not considered the environmental impact of burning shale gas to generate electricity and therefore had not properly assessed the climate change effect of the proposal; and

2) the NYCC had not obtained long term financial protection from Third Energy against environmental damage to the area.

The High Court will now have to decide whether it will grant permission for the application to proceed to hearing. Permission will be granted if there is an arguable case for judicial review that justifies a complete investigation of the substantive merits. This decision is likely to be determined over the next few weeks.