Shropshire councillors have voted for a second time against proposals by Dart Energy to explore for coal bed methane at Dudleston near Ellesmere. But the final decision will be made by the planning inspectorate.
This afternoon, members of Shropshire Council’s planning committee agreed they were minded to refuse the application, repeating a vote in October last year.
The committee said the proposal should be rejected because of:
- Likely disturbance from noise of the development
- Potential for pollution because the site was close to a slurry lagoon
- Risk of contamination to private water supplies
Dart Energy lodged an appeal last month (January) with the planning inspectorate because Shropshire Council had not made a decision on the application within the target date.
The appeal is now likely to go ahead but local campaigners are expected to challenge the proposed arrangements. Dart asked for a written appeal, which would exclude local people from taking part.
The guidelines for appeals say there should be a public inquiry if there has been significant public interest in an application. More than 500 people, most of the population from the area around the proposed site, have objected to the application.