Regulation

Council round-up

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DrillOrDrop’s update of the latest council news on fracking and onshore oil and gas:

  • Presumption against unconventional gas in Swansea’s Local Development Plan
  • East Riding of Yorkshire supports a motion against fracking
  • Two delays to shale gas plans in Nottinghamshire
  • New application underway in North Lincolnshire
  • Minerals plan for North Yorkshire 

Swansea

Labour-led Swansea Council has included a policy against unconventional oil and gas developments in the latest version of its Local Development Plan.

The plan sets out local planning policy and identifies how land will be used.

The deposit version, which is now out for public consultation, includes the following policy:

“The Council will not support the development of land based unconventional oil or gas operations, including the exploration, appraisal and extraction of oil and gas by unconventional methods (including the making of exploratory boreholes).”

This follows a motion approved unopposed by the council to oppose planning applications for unconventional exploration or extraction of gas.

The deposit plan also has a policy that “within the Gower AONB {Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty] mineral development will be strongly resisted”.

If approved, this could prevent unconventional gas developments on the Gower side of the Loughor Estuary.

The consultation on the plan continues until 12 August 2016. It will then be examined by a planning inspector, who may make recommendations that would be incorporated before being adopted by the council.

A spokesperson for Frack Free Wales said:

“Frack Free Wales is delighted to see that Swansea Council has followed up on the Motion they adopted in March and have now included a presumption against Unconventional Gas Development in the Draft Local Development Plan for Swansea.”

“We hope this will encourage other Councils in Wales to follow suit.”

Link to Deposit version of the plan (see Section 2.14 Resources and Public Health Protection, policy RP11 Sustainable Development of Mineral Resources)

East Riding of Yorkshire

Conservative-controlled East Riding Council has expressed its concern about fracking and agreed to take a precautionary approach to proposals which it said may “adversely affect the integrity of the aquifer”.

Last week, the full council approved unopposed a motion by Driffield councillor Symon Fraser, which called on members to:

  • Reject proposals that may result in an unacceptable adverse impact on the environment, local communities and landscape
  • Seek clarity on who bears the future cost of the legacy liability relating to abandoned or disused facilities.
  • Require the full disclosure to the appropriate authority of any materials that any developer proposes to inject into or pass through the aquifer either as part of the exploration or exploitation of natural gas or oil reserves.

East Riding has approved all the applications by Rathlin Energy for conventional gas exploration in the county. But the past two permissions have included no-fracking conditions.

Cuadrilla and INEOS both won licences last year for shale gas exploration in the region. In April this year, the council held a members’ information day with presentations from the industry, regulators and anti-fracking campaign groups.

Video of the debate

Council agenda including the motion (see 22 June 2016)

Nottinghamshire

The county council has extended the time of a local consultation into plans by IGas subsidiary, Dart Energy, to explore for shale gas at a site known as Tinker Lane in Bassetlaw.

The extension, until 22 July 2016, was at the request of residents. DrillOrDrop report and link to planning application.

The council has also asked for more information from IGas about another application in the area. The company wants to drill up to two exploratory shale gas wells at Springs Road, Misson. The council said today once the information had been provided there would be another public consultation. DrillOrDrop report and link to planning application.

North Lincolnshire

A public consultation has opened into plans by Egdon Resources for hydrocarbon production for up to 15 years at the existing Wressle site at Appleby. The consultation, run by North Lincolnshire Council, runs until 21 July 2016.

Link to the application and more details on DrillOrDrop here

North Yorkshire

The county council, which approved what could be the UK’s first fracking operation since 2011, is preparing to publish the latest version of its new minerals and waste joint plan. The plan, which also covers the City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority, will set planning policy for waste and mineral developments up to 2030.

The plan is due to be published this month, with a submission date to a planning inspector in September.

Link to information about the minerals and waste joint plan

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