The Environment Agency has announced it intends to grant an environmental permit for shale gas exploration at a former cold war missile launch base in north Nottinghamshire.
A second round of public consultation on IGas’s plans for two wells at the site at Springs Road, Misson, is now underway. Comments on the proposed mining waste permit can be submitted up to Monday 6 June 2016.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency, said:
“We insist that where a permit is required our standards are met and that we have evidence that the process can take place safely. After a thorough assessment of the application, we are confident that the right conditions have been set to ensure that people and the environment are protected.”
“On the evidence we have received so far, we will be granting the permit for these two exploratory boreholes. We would also expect that if the site is found to have the potential for shale gas extraction, that there will be more permit applications and consultations in the future”.
Nottinghamshire County Council is expected to decide in July on the company’s planning application. Fracking is not part of the planning or permit applications but IGas has said it may apply to do this later.
The site is about 3km from the centre of Misson village. During the 1960s it was the launch pad for the mark 1 Bloodhound surface-to-air guided missile. It is next to the fenland area of Misson Carr Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and within 2km of two other SSSIs.
IGas proposes to drill a vertical well to a depth of about 3,500 metres. Depending on the results, it may drill another well vertically to 4,350m, before deviating to horizontal for up to 1,500m. The first well is expected to take 14 weeks of continuous drilling; the second 19 weeks.
A survey of people living in Misson parish found that 87% of participants were against IGas’s plans. 4% were in favour and 9% undecided. A petition, signed by 70% of the population, has been presented to Nottinghamshire County Council.
IGas has permission for up to 12 groundwater monitoring boreholes at Springs Road. It has also said it will apply for permission for shale gas exploration at another site in the area, known as Tinker Lane, between Bylth and Barnby Moor.