THE company behind plans for controversial fracking wells on the edge of the North York Moors has been given the go ahead to alter operations on an existing well.

Third Energy already has a gas plant at Malton road, near Pickering, producing natural gas, they applied for permission to change the use of an existing well to allow water re-injection to stop gas supplies being watered down. North Yorkshire County council’s planning committee approved the plans which had been recommended by officers.

That is not part of the scheme by Third energy to explore for shale gas exploration or fracking as it is known, at nearby Kirby Misperton which has brought an avalanche of over 4,000 objections, that will be discussed on Friday with a decision due on Monday May 23. Officers are urging that that scheme is approved in the face of objections from Frack Free North Yorkshire and many other environmental groups as well as local councils.

The latest development allows for four groundwater boreholes to monitor water quality and water re-injection in the well. Frack Free North Yorkshire had objected to the plans setting out concerns about the well site, questioning the need for the re-injection well, and calling for conditions to ensure all works which could be associated with fracking would not be allowed. Planners agreed the approval would only apply to the re-injection of water, the council also received five letters of support for the scheme.