Celebration as Derbyshire County Council reject INEOS application
Derbyshire County Council planners today voted to reject the application by chemicals giant INEOS to conduct exploratory drills for shale gas on Bramleymoor Lane, in North East Derbyshire, to the delight of campaigners. This is the latest in a spate of decisions showing that councils don’t want fracking.
Momentum continues to build against the fracking industry as the Secretary of State has questioned the finances of Third Energy, who want to frack in Ryedale, and last week Rotherham Council voted against INEOS’s plans to carry out exploratory drilling for shale gas near Harthill in South Yorkshire. Today’s decision in Derbyshire shows that industry plans can be frustrated, and that community coordination can result in big wins. Campaigners will be bolstered by this news, and people in other areas where exploratory drilling is proposed will also claim this as a victory against the industry – though the fight is not yet over with an Inquiry pending.
This application for exploratory drilling in Bramleymoor Lane by INEOS is the second to be considered by a local planning committee in England, and the first in Derbyshire. The company has ambitious plans to drill numerous fracking wells across the Midlands and North of England.
INEOS has recently applied to the Planning Inspectorate for the two other local applications to be decided by a government appointed planning inspector because it believes “no local decisions have been made in a reasonable time period” . Today’s decision by Derbyshire County Council planning committee is an extremely important consideration for the planning inspector in the planning inquiry which could take place over the summer.
Dave Kesteven, campaigner with Eckington Against Fracking, said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that the council have decided to support those who elect them and not a multinational plastics manufacturer whose activities would disrupt our communities and pollute our environment.
“I am sure that this victory will be repeated at the public inquiry.”
Chris Crean, campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said:
“It’s fantastic that today Derbyshire planners have listened to local community concerns and rightly decided that the impacts of this drilling would be damaging and unacceptable, resulting in the industrialisation of the English countryside. We now look forward to supporting the Council’s position at the public inquiry.
“We know that we have to leave the majority of fossil fuels in the ground if we are to prevent dangerous climate change, so it makes absolutely no sense to investigate the potential for fracking.”
Andrew Wood, a planning officer from CPRE South Yorkshire, said:
“We told the planning committee that if they were worried that the impacts on the community and the countryside hadn’t been fully considered, this was the chance to intervene. We’re really pleased that the committee took that opportunity and have forced their officers to take a tougher line in preparing for the Public Inquiry.”
Deborah Gibson, campaigner with Harthill Against Fracking, said:
“I am happy the committee came to this conclusion; it shows how local democracy works when given a chance. Because INEOS bypassed the local planning process, we are all hoping today’s decision should now carry some weight with the Planning Inspectorate, alongside all our new objections. Our fight goes on but it’s good to know we have the Derbyshire planners rooting out this polluting, industrial blight that is totally inappropriate however you look at it.”