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Yorkshire anti-frackers declare victory

Well capped after government calls for financial review of Third Energy

On 13 March, two anti-fracking campaigners were found guilty of highway obstruction at a site near Kirby Misperton village, North Yorkshire. Dr Julia Collings and Ronnie Hollarand were each given six months’ conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £220. In October 2017, the pair had occupyied a three-sided tower in the middle of the road, blocking access to the proposed fracking site, as part of a long-running campaign of nonviolent direct action.

This verdict followed a declaration of victory by the local anti-fracking campaign and the closure of Kirby Misperton Protection Camp.

Though the government granted Third Energy a licence to extract shale gas by fracking in 2016, and the county council also gave planning permission, the company has not received final permission from the government. The well was capped in late March and equipment removed after Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, called for a financial review of the company.

Dr Collings said during her trial: ‘My PhD is in highly-polluting waste water treatment and I am a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management. I understand on a number of levels why fracking is a toxic industry and cannot be allowed to gain a foothold in the UK, and I, along with my co-accused… took direct action to close the fracking site for a day.’

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Topics: Green