UK anti-fracking groups to fight on after landmark decision

London (AFP) –


Campaigners in Britain said Tuesday they would take their fight against fracking national after the first scheme since 2011 was given the green light.

The move came after a project to extract shale gas near the North York Moors National Park in northern England was given the go-ahead by local councillors Monday.

Fracking at the site is expected to go ahead in November or December, when the weather is cold and fewer protestors are expected to show up, according to British media reports.

"Today we resolve to continue to fight to remain free from fracking, to protect our communities, our beautiful countryside, our air and water, and to protect the future of the planet," said a "People's Declaration" issued by campaign group Friends of the Earth.

"We ask people across the country to join us by supporting this declaration."

The declaration was backed by local campaigners against the scheme near the market town of Pickering in North Yorkshire.

A spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth said there were no firm plans for protests at this stage but added they were looking into "all our options" for possible legal action.

The project, which will involve fracking using an existing well two miles (3.2 kilometres) deep, was the first to be approved in Britain since 2011.

Then, operations at a previous project on the northwest English coast in Lancashire triggered tremors in the area.

A moratorium on fracking was subsequently imposed, though this was lifted by Prime Minister David Cameron's government in 2012.

A string of other applications for fracking projects around the country, including two other sites in Lancashire and two in Nottinghamshire, central England, are reportedly under consideration by planning authorities.