Notts fracking plan delayed as council extends consultation

Artist's rendition of a shale gas drilling rig, also proposed at Tinker Lane, Retford.
Artist's rendition of a shale gas drilling rig, also proposed at Tinker Lane, Retford.
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Shale gas exploration has been delayed in Northern Nottinghamshire after the county council decides to length consultation to respond to new environmental information.

Nottinghamshire County Council says it has extended the consultation period into the planning application submitted by energy firm IGas to drill exploration wells at Springs Road, Misson.

The area around the Misson exploration site at the former RAF missile station. (Planning application in red, exploration area in yellow.)

The area around the Misson exploration site at the former RAF missile station. (Planning application in red, exploration area in yellow.)

The consultation period has been extended until Friday 5 August.

The extension follows the submission of additional information requested by the County Council from IGas to address specific issues, said the council.

IGas was asked to submit their geological reasons for choosing the precise location to drill exploration wells, and address local ecology issues including the submission of a breeding bird survey. They have no responded with an assessment of noise impact and mitigating measures to reduce noise impact on the nearby Misson Training Area - a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The council also asked for an assessment of the cumulative landscape and visual impact of the proposed development with other tall structures in the surroundings (such as wind turbines).

The latest batch of fracking exploration licences have been handed out, with energy firm Ineos sweeping most of the licence areas in the East Midlands, including areas around Mansfield and Chesterfield. (Source: Frack Off).

The latest batch of fracking exploration licences have been handed out, with energy firm Ineos sweeping most of the licence areas in the East Midlands, including areas around Mansfield and Chesterfield. (Source: Frack Off).

IGas has applied for planning permission to carry out test drilling to check the suitability of the rock for shale gas extraction. The application does not include any proposals for hydraulic fracturing, known as ‘fracking’.

The additional information will be used by the County Council’s Development Management Team to prepare a report on the IGas planning application for consideration by members of the Planning and Licensing Committee later this year.

To allow time to review the submitted information and to undergo the necessary consultation process, the County Council has agreed with IGas to extend the determination period until 14 October.

IGas aid in their latest statement to the council's planning department: "The air quality assessment concludes that there would be potentially temporary damaging effects

on the Misson Training Areas SSSI from nitrogen deposition, which is significantly above the 1% significance threshold used as a benchmark to identify potentially significant effects.

"It is also noted, however, that the species in the western side of the SSSI, closest to the application site, are found to be more tolerant of nitrogen and that the proposal is for a limited time so the effect is temporary."

"The proposed development is of a temporary nature and therefore is unlikely to have any effect on the conservation status of the SSSI."

The site has already had an application approved for the disposal of mining waste.

But the fate of a separate plan in Tinker Lane near Retford may be going the other way after Bassetlaw District Council's planning committee voted a the beginning of the month to stand against the plan as a consultee to the County Council. NCC will decide on the plan later in the year.

The additional information is contained in a document titled ‘Reg 22 Further Information 07/07/2016’ and can be viewed at: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/planningsearch/plandisp.aspx?AppNo=ES/3379

Comments about the additional information supplied by IGas can be made on the NottsCC website here, by emailing development.management@nottscc.gov.uk or writing to Development Management, Nottinghamshire County Council, County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7QP.