GOVERNMENT plans to allow fracking without planning permission have been rejected by City of York Council.

New measures set out by the Government intend to allow shale gas exploration without the need for local planning permission, but City of York Council today responded to the plans with a series of queries and said more localised work needed to take place before any fracking exploration could take place.

A council spokesman said: "The council’s position is that there needs to be appropriate scrutiny of at a local level. This is particularly the case for forms of development such as ‘fracking’ which have the potential to give rise to adverse impact on local communities, or be proposed in environmentally sensitive locations.

"We believe the planning process and the draft Mineral and Waste Joint Plan (MWJP) already provides a well established regulatory system for giving proper and public consideration to planning issues associated with shale gas - fracking - including the right to appeal for any applicant who wishes to challenge decisions made by the council.

"Given the contentious nature of fracking, local communities should be able to have their say in whether this type of development takes place. We must have the ability to protect York’s historic character, its special setting and proposed green belt. Progressing the MWJP is an integral part of how we will do this. It will ensure we have the planning policies in place for minerals and waste development until 2030."

Examination of the MWJP has been underway for months, with public hearings in February, March and April 2018, and all local councils have been asked to consider a Government report on planning guidance and fracking, before returning their thoughts on the plans.

The council's responses will be taken to a councillor decision session meeting on October 22, to enable the Executive Member for Environment to note the Government consultations and endorse the council responses. This will enable officers to submit this to the Government by the deadline of October 25.

Members of the public are welcome to the decision session on October 22 from 1pm, and it can be watched online at