A COUNCIL which approved Britain's first fracking scheme in five years has produced a planning blueprint to help control future development and protect the landscape and its tourism industry.

North Yorkshire County Council will consult over its 1,500 page plan to control mineral and waste working up to 2030.

It has taken three-and-a-half years to produce, but in the meantime the authority gave the go ahead for the fracking well at Kirby Misperton, near Pickering - on the edge of the North York Moors National Park.

Councillor Janet Sanderson told members of the council’s executive: "Having sat through the application on the gas plant we are better off with a plan in place then without one. I know that from bitter experience we should pre-empt any problems.

"As the industry develops and progresses we have to protect the goose that lays the golden egg, our landscape.”

The plan, which also covers quarrying for minerals – including sand and gravel – and waste plants, puts into place controls and policies, such as no shale gas wells within 500 metres of homes or sensitive areas.

Cllr Don Mackenzie said: "The key challenge is to accommodate development which is essential to the local economy and jobs and at the same time is protecting our local communities and our environment which is vitally important and makes North Yorkshire a great place to live and work.”

Cllr Clare Wood added:” We have to bear in mind the constraints. It is the governments apparent wish to create a fracking industry , it is our determination to provide a high standard of protection for the residents and the environment.

”I have my concerns over fracking, there isn’t a corner of Ryedale that isn’t going to have a licence so it is important that there is the highest level of protection for the National Park and the Area of Outstanding National Beauty.”

“We need to make sure we don’t have Ryedale industrialised, that people continue to want to come here.”

The report's author, Rob Smith, told councillors: "The expected increase in commercial interest in gas in the Plan area in future years, including shale gas, together with the highly sensitive nature of the environment in large parts of the area covered by new and existing development licences, presents a significant challenge.

“An appropriate balance has to be achieved between provision of a degree of support and flexibility to enable development to take place in appropriate locations, and the need to provide a high standard of protection to local communities and the environment.”