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Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is a process used to remove gas and oil from shale rock deep in the ground. There are proposals to frack for shale gas across large parts of North England including Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. INEOS is a large chemical company which has the licences to frack across large areas of North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield. They need to apply for various licences and planning permission before they can frack.

INEOS has taken the first steps to obtain planning permission for a site off Bramleymoor Lane near Marsh Lane. They have submitted a planning application (application no. CM4/0517/10) for an exploratory well, the first of its kind in Derbyshire. The deadline for submission of objections was 10 August 2017 but the County Council will accept objections up to 3 days before the Planning Committee meets (date not set but likely to be early 2018).

Transition Chesterfield’s objection to this application was submitted in July 2017.

The Chesterfield Climate Alliance objection can be found here.

The Eckington Against Fracking objection can be found here.

A helpful Marsh_Lane_pro-forma_objection_letter by Frack Free South Yorkshire can be found here though it is better if you can amend this or write it in your own words.

Other objections and representations can be found on the Derbyshire County Council’s information page for the application.

A show of public support against fracking is very important. Anyone can object to a planning application, though more weight is given to people directly affected such as local residents.  You can send in your objection via the Derbyshire comments page or email directly to planningrepresentations@derbyshire.gov.uk or post to Planning Services, Derbyshire County Council, Shand House, Dale Road South, Matlock DE4 3RY.

Drill or Drop have done a helpful summary of the application.  The application is for a 2,400m vertical well in the Green Belt on the edge of the village of Marsh Lane, about 300m from the nearest homes. An image left, courtesy of Colin Harrison, shows the height of the rig compared to the Crooked Spire. INEOS said the purpose was to take samples of rock to assess the prospects for shale gas in the area. The application does not include plans to carry out fracking or pressure testing.

There are also applications for exploratory wells at Harthill and Woodsetts in Rotherham district. These are also very rural areas totally unsuited for industrial activity.  You can find Frack Free South Yorkshire’s Harthill template Objection letter here which you can use as a basis for sending in objections to Rotherham Borough Council.

Click here for an image of how many fracking well sites there might be around Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire (not actual locations) based on the number of sites INEOS estimates is needed. Image courtesy of Colin Harrison.

There are many national charities and local groups opposed to fracking, including

Amber Valley Against Fracking, Barlborough Against Fracking, Bolsover Against Fracking, Clay Cross Against Fracking, Coal Aston and Dronfield Against Fracking,Creswell Against Fracking, Eckington Against Fracking,  Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Peak District, Greenpeace, the National TrustFrack Free South Yorkshire, Sheffield Against Fracking

Many of these groups are also supporting the Divest Derbyshire campaign to get the Derbyshire Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels.

There are numerous concerns about the impacts of fracking locally and globally including:

• Fracking is likely to compromise the UK’s legally binding climate change targets
• Fracking poses a risk to public health
• Local impacts are likely to be extensive
• Renewables can meet all of our energy needs without fracking
• Fracking is not a bridge fuel to a low-carbon economy
• Fracking will not lower energy prices
• The environmental problems associated with fracking in the US will not be dealt with by UK’s stricter environmental laws
• Fracking will only create a small number of jobs
• The public are not supportive of fracking

More details on these can be found in the attached Briefing on Fracking by Chesterfield Climate Alliance.

Friends of the Earth have also published detailed information and resources on fracking.

Sign up to the very useful Drill or Drop blog for up to date and well researched information on fracking around the UK

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