ANGER has erupted after it was revealed permission will actively be sought for fracking to begin in North Yorkshire.

Gas development and production company Third Energy has announced it wants to start the controversial drilling method at a well in the Ryedale area.

The company promises full consultations and environmental impact studies will be carried out into its plans for the well at Kirby Misperton - which lies next to the Flamingo Land theme park - between Pickering and Malton.

But objectors are already calling for the fracking proposal – the first in the region - to be dropped, promising they will fight the scheme all the way.

And local Tory MP Anne McIntosh has also expressed concern and is already planning to meet company bosses to discuss their plan in more detail.

Third Energy originally drilled the well, known as KM8 and in its existing Kirby Misperton gas field, during 2013.

But to assess the commercial potential it now wants to use hydraulic fracturing – fracking - to stimulate gas flow from sandstone and shale between 7,000 and 10,000ft deep.

Chief executive Rasik Valand said: “Our analysis indicates that there could be a significant new gas reservoir in our North Yorkshire licence area.

“Having operated in the area for many years, we know the importance of being a good neighbour and we will work in partnership with the local community to develop this opportunity.”

He added “As the project involves hydraulic fracturing, the community would receive the pre-agreed community benefit of £100,000, once operations start.”

Fracking involves pumping water-based fluid into gas reservoirs to open fractures and allow gas to flow through – and the company says once the flow has been stimulated operations are no different to other gas production.

However a spokesman for the campaign group Frack Free Ryedale, Chris Redston, pledged they would do “everything humanly possible” to prevent the proposal going ahead.

He claimed the “unavoidable” consequences would include pollution, an increase in HG V traffic and possible contamination of land and water supplies.

“If Third Energy are really interested in being a 'good neighbour', they would withdraw their intention to apply for a fracking licence immediately,” he added.

And Russell Scott, of the group Frack Free North Yorkshire said: “This new industry is untested in the UK and we do not accept that the people of Ryedale should be treated as guinea pigs so that a few individuals can profit at the expense of our communities.”

MP Miss McIntosh said: “I am at a loss to understand how Third Energy have suddenly developed the technology, when they gave me an assurance within the last year that they themselves neither had the technology nor any intention of hydraulically fracking at depth anywhere in Ryedale.”