A GAS-DRILLING company has denied claims by environmentalists that it may frack for shale gas under York.

The Green Party has launched an online petition condemning fracking in which it said Dart Energy’s plans could endanger York’s “unique architectural heritage”.

However, the firm said that while it has a licence to search for shale gas in an area covering 15,000sq km across the north of England, including a large part of North Yorkshire, York is not in its sights.

A spokesman for Dart said: “There may be a well drilled in North Yorkshire in the next couple of years, but access and availability of transport would preclude drilling under York.”

Andrew Cooper, a Green candidate for Yorkshire and Humber at the forthcoming European elections, had said any proposals for fracking in York would be “madness”.

City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park all said they had so far received no planning applications from companies wanting to frack for gas.