AN ANTI-FRACKING camp has been set up in North Yorkshire, near one of the first sites in the UK where permission has been granted for hydraulic fracturing.

About a dozen local and national protesters have set up the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, near Third Energy’s fracking site.

The peaceful protest site, near the village west of the A169, is likely to remain in place over Christmas, with local residents reportedly offering to bring them Christmas dinner.

The camp was put in place after Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth lost a High Court challenge against North Yorkshire County Council’s decision to allow fracking to go ahead.

Mrs Justice Lang published her ruling on Tuesday in which she stated the council’s planning committee had properly considered the impact on climate change when approving plans.

But she said the council was responsible for reaching an independent view on whether “energy requirements ought to be met by other, less environmentally damaging means than gas production and a gas-fuelled electricity generating station”.

The county council says it will balance the interests of the fracking industry with those of residents, businesses and the environment in its new minerals and waste plan.

North Yorkshire Police, Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council say they are currently facilitating the peaceful protest.

Inspector Simon Jolly said: “North Yorkshire Police will continue to liaise with the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp like any other community in North Yorkshire, using a neighbourhood policing approach.

“The police have a duty to facilitate peaceful protest, which is balanced with the rights of residents and businesses to go about their daily life in Kirby Misperton with any possible disruption kept to minimum.

“To be clear, the police are not taking sides regarding this issue. Our presence is intended to provide reassurance and ensure the safety of everyone involved, including those at the camp.”