IGas has identified a new site in north Nottinghamshire where it wants to explore for shale gas. Opponents of fracking have organised a campaign event for the weekend to raise awareness about the plans.
A press release from Nottinghamshire County Council announced that IGas had asked for a scoping opinion on the site. This is the first step for a drilling company in the process of producing an Environmental Impact Assessment, which would be part of a later planning application.
The site is off Springs Road, north east of Misson, in Bassetlaw, near the local authority boundary with Doncaster and North Lincolnshire. It is about 200m from another potential location, for which IGas requested a scoping opinion in January this year.
This previous location was 500m from the Misson Carr Site of Special Scientific Interest, an area of rare wet woodlands, marsh and old grazing pastures on a former Ministry of Defence training area. The campaign group, Misson Frack Free, which is organising a parade on Sunday 31st May, said the new site is closer to the SSSI.
Nottinghamshire County Council said IGas had decided the new site was more suitable than the one it originally requested a scoping opinion on earlier this year. The council has five weeks to comment on the new request and it said it would consult more than 40 organisations, including Bassetlaw District Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency. IGas is expected to submit a planning application at the end of June.
The county council said it would expect IGas to include information about how it would safeguard local water resources and wildlife habitats, ensure safe access to and from the site for vehicles, manage noise and restore the site.
Sally Gill, planning manager from Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We intend to robustly review the scoping request, to make sure that IGas has made every effort to safeguard the local environment. The detail of our response will inform the basis of the firm’s Environmental Impact Assessment which will be submitted if and when they decide to submit a planning application.”
“If a planning application is submitted for shale gas development in the future, as the local planning authority our role will be to consider how suitable the site is for any shale gas testing, exploration or development. This will involve looking at how the proposals affect a range of issues such as wildlife, transport and water resources.”
“The company will also have to secure approval from a range of other organisations including the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Energy and Climate Change to make sure the site will operate safely.”
“Further separate planning applications would need to be submitted by the firm if they decided to undertake additional investigations at the site, including shale gas appraisal or extraction.”
- The Misson Frack Free Parade begins at 10am at Bawtry Market Place on Sunday 31st May. A procession to Mission Village Green is followed by speakers, music and refreshments.