Fracking firm 'disappointed' by council's decision

The company which wants to frack near Sheffield says it is 'disappointed' after a council denied it permission to drill a test well.

Thursday, 8th February 2018, 2:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th February 2018, 2:35 pm
Site of the proposed fracking site at Bramley Moor Road, Marsh Lane, near Sheffield. Picture: Simon Hulme.

On Monday (February 5), Ineos' application to drill a core bore well on land near the north east Derbyshire village of Marsh Lane was rejected by Derbyshire County Council's planning committee by nine votes to one.

The final decision on the proposal will now be taken by the Planning Inspectorate, however, after the chemical giant appealed that the local authority was taking too long to make its decision - something the council denied.

In a statement released today (February 8), the firm said it was 'disappointed' by the decision, especially as council officers recommended approval.

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They added that applications to drill similar wells had been accepted by 'many councils, many times in the past'.

Ron Coyle, CEO of Ineos Shale, said: “This is a bad decision because I believe development of a shale gas industry will lead to an economic renaissance, similar to the one seen in the U.S.A, with high paying, highly skilled jobs and massive investment in manufacturing, which is desperately needed in this country.

“We had hoped that the council’s final vote would reflect these realities but instead the decision exposes the council and council taxpayers to costly appeal proceedings – all because the decision has been led by politics and not science and has confused a request to drill a simple core bore well with other activities that may or may not happen in the future.

"It is also worth noting that Ineos Shale made this application to gather scientific data as part of its commitment to the Oil & Gas Authority to develop its license areas.”

Fracking is a method of unconventional gas extraction whereby water and chemicals are injected at high pressure into shale rock thousands of metres below ground.

Opponents, however, allege that the technology is inherently unsafe and causes pollution, traffic, noise and ecological damage.