THE government is being urged to withhold fracking consent at Kirby Misperton until assurances over pollution risks are received.

Baroness Anne McIntosh, a former Thirsk MP, has written to Greg Clark, the Government’s Secretary of State for business, energy and industrial strategy, to halt the go-ahead for the North Yorkshire scheme.

Lady McIntosh of Pickering says that residents have “grave concerns” over the imminent fracking operation and questions whether enough monitoring has taken place to ensure fracking is safe.

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She said: “They (residents) are extremely concerned about the environmental impact of these works.

“They fear for their health, safety of the water supply, the value of their homes and the disruption from lorry movements.”

In her letter, Lady McIntosh told Mr Clark: “I know that you are currently deciding whether to grant permission for the fracking phase to begin at the Kirby Misperton site.

“Given the very real concerns and the outstanding regulatory issues, I would urge you most strongly to withhold your consent until these issues are resolved.”

The company behind the fracking operation, Third Energy, was criticised by the Environment Agency and Friends of the Earth in the summer over their emissions monitoring.

A company spokesman said at the time that Third Energy works closely with the Environment Agency to ensure its operations maintain environmental compliance at all times.

Ongoing protests are taking place at Kirby Misperton.