The concerns were voiced at a meeting with Third Energy that Mr. Hollinrake requested at his constituency offices in Old Malton following the submission of the application. After the meeting Mr Hollinrake said “I have always said, that any proposal to hydraulically fracture for shale gas must be shown to be safe and discreet. Should North Yorkshire County Council approve the application, I will work to ensure that there is no significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of people in this area, where I, and my family, have lived all our lives. We need to make sure that the regulations are strong, and are monitored independently. In the meeting, it was agreed that Third Energy would allow the Environment Agency to supervise an independent contractor responsible for the monitoring of air and water quality throughout the whole process. This is a significant addition to the current regulations for shale gas exploration. I feel it is very important that the process is safe and is seen to be safe. I am also keen to meet regularly with the people of Kirby Misperton to see first hand the impact of this process on local peoples lives and reassure them that I am on their side.’
Many local residents also have worries about the potential industrialisation of the countryside and the impact on the economy, tourism, farming and their quiet enjoyment of this beautiful area. ‘Third Energy today made a commitment that drilling sites need to be around 6 miles apart as a minimum and that each site needs to be no more than a few hectares in size. I would absolutely hold them to account for these commitments.’
There are benefits to the local communities, operators will pay communities £100,000 for each test site they frack, plus 1 per cent of any revenues from a well if it goes into production. That could give local communities £1 million a year for a typical 10 well site.
‘I will be requesting a meeting with Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to discuss these matters and my serious concerns for the health and wellbeing of local residents and the impact on our local countryside. For now, I will be watching and scrutinising this proposal every step of the way.’