RESIDENTS of the anti-fracking Kirby Misperton Protection Camp have signalled the camp’s continued growth with the building of a new “solidaritea saloon”.

The wooden construction joins the kitchen, creche and “broadcast tent” to make an increasingly significant presence at the site.

Meanwhile, the camp protesters, alongside campaign group Frack-Free Ryedale, have expressed concern over energy company INEOS’s recent takeover of rivals Moorland Energy.

INEOS took control of Moorland Energy in December, creating a new company called INEOS 120 Energy Ltd.

The takeover gave INEOS a number of “petroleum exploration and development licence” (PEDL) blocks, covering an area which stretches from Helmsley to East Ayton.

PEDLs allow companies to explore for gas, subject to consents and planning permission.

Frack-Free have said that they are concerned INEOS will revive plans for a Thornton-le-Dale gas processing plant, which was given permission in 2010.

David Davis, from Hovingham, said: “Planning permission for the gas processing plant at Thornton-le-Dale is still valid until later this year.

“INEOS can easily apply for an extension to this permission, and may want to use this processing plant to process gas from nearby fracking well-pads.”

However, an INEOS spokesman said it had not yet reviewed permissions associated with the site.

He added: “We have only recently acquired the licence as part of our regional interest in shale gas.

“We will review the existing conventional data and permissions in due course.”

On Monday, police thanked the camp for confirming that their protest will not affect the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire which takes place from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30, with day one going from Bridlington to Scarborough, taking in Kirby Misperton.

The message said: “Following contact between the Ryedale Neighbourhood Policing Team and the Camp, the Protection Camp confirms it has no intention whatsoever to attempt to disrupt the event in any way.

“The police confirm that the camp will still have the ability to promote their message through peaceful means during the Tour de Yorkshire and wish to thank the camp for the early confirmation that the Tour will not be affected.”