York & North Yorkshire

Flamingo Land fracking letter reveals animal welfare concerns

Library picture of giraffe at Flamingo Land
Image caption The fracking site is close to the theme park at Kirkby Misperton

A theme park has expressed worry for the welfare of its "beloved" animals if fracking is allowed at a nearby site.

Flamingo Land has written to North Yorkshire County Council about the application to extract shale gas near Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.

The park's letter said it had "concern for our beloved, and in many cases critically endangered, animal collection's welfare."

Third Energy said the letter seemed "to be based on a misconception".

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The company said the park may have misunderstood how water was to be re-used at the site.

It lies about a mile (1.6km) from the village where the theme park is based.

'Much-loved business'

The theme park's letter said it "remained in favour of job and wealth creation" but it feared the application could lead to extra wells being created which would negatively affect tourism.

It also said it had health concerns for local residents and park visitors.

Flamingo Land declined to comment any further.

Rasik Valand, chief executive of Third Energy, said: "Flamingo Land can be reassured that Third Energy would do nothing that would cause any harm to that much-loved business."

Extra wells would depend on exploration being "consistently successful" and proof of the presence of gas in the region, he added.

A decision on the application is to be taken on 20 May, the county council has said.

The county council's decision was expected last November but was delayed after the authority requested more information from Third Energy.

Environmental permits have already been granted to Third Energy by the Environment Agency.

The authority previously said it had received more than 4,000 representations about the proposals.

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