Breaking: Planners recommend go-ahead for IGas shale gas plans for Springs Road, Misson, Notts

Misson Springs map

Planners at Nottinghamshire County Council are recommending approval of a planning application by IGas to drill for shale gas at Misson in north Nottinghamshire.

A report, released within the past few minutes, said the proposal should go ahead at a former cold war missile site at Springs Road.

Sally Gill, Planning Manager for Nottinghamshire County Council, said:

“After very careful review, planning officers have recommended to the Planning and Licensing Committee that the development is appropriate for the industrial site.

“Island Gas has been able to demonstrate how they intend to make sure that the effects of the drilling can be effectively managed to make sure they do not become unacceptable to the local area and local community.

“A recommendation for approval with 37 planning conditions and a legal agreement relating to HGV routeing is included in the report which planning officers believer will make sure that the development will fully meet the requirements of national and local planning policies.

“Shale gas development is very tightly regulated and in addition to securing planning permission from the County Council, Island Gas will also need to obtain relevant permits and licences from the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Oil and Gas Authority before any development can take place.”

IGas has applied to drill two exploratory wells at the site. One would be vertical to a depth of 3,500m. The other would be drilled to 4,350m before deviating for up to 1,500m. According to the application, drilling of the wells would last up to 33 weeks.

The application does not include fracking but IGas has said it may apply for permission to frack in future.

A survey by Misson Parish Council found that 87% of people were against the proposals, 4% were in favour and 9% undecided. 76% of local residents took part.

The County Council said it had received 2,629 representations about the proposals, of which all but six were objections. 44 statutory consultees raised no objection to the development and 11 objected.

The decision on the application will be made at a special meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning committee, starting on Wednesday 5 October. The meeting may continue into a second day.

Information requests

The application was submitted nearly a year ago, on 15 October 2015. Nottinghamshire County Council twice asked for more information and has run three public consultations.

There have been concerns about the impact of the site on nearby Misson Carr Site of Special Scientific Interest and the cumulative impact of the rig and other large structures on the local landscape.

In January, the council granted planning permission for up to 12 groundwater monitoring boreholes at the site. The Environment Agency granted a mining waste permit in June.

Springs Road is one of two IGas planning applications for shale gas exploration in Nottinghamshire. The company is also seeking to drill an exploratory well at Tinker Lane. No date has been set for that application.

More details coming soon.

Link to planners’ report

31 replies »

  1. The same councilors should move the residents to a safe location, then set up their operations in the nearby houses and regularly visit the site and monitor it, so they can personally experience what the effects of fracking right next to houses really means.Perhaps IGAS should set up a consultation site there too and host regular visits to concerned locals.

    • Phil C – the Councillors have not determined this application yet. Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning committee, i.e. the Councillors, will determine the application at a meeting starting on Wednesday 5 October.

      The Planning Officer from the Planning Department has determined that the application is in accordance with National and Local Planning Guidance / Legislation and that the application should be approved. The Planning Officer is not a Councillor – he/she is a civil servant planning expert and not aligned to any political party (and not elected).

    • Agreed Phil, they could do, and I bet the effect on them would be no more detrimental than say living near the building of a small housing estate, a small supermarket, or dare I say it, the construction of a solar farm or a group of wind turbines. Yes there will be lorries during initial construction, just as you get lorry deliveries to dairy farms, shops, factories etc. Personally I’d be quite happy for horizontal drilling pipes to pass under my house, why should I worry about a 7 inch drilling pipe running 5000 feet under my floor, hundreds of thousands of Londoners must live with far more intrusive work under their feet.

        • Glad to bring a little ray of sunshine into your life.

          By the way I think you live off grid so you’ll be mostly insulated from the petrol and gas price rises which will almost certainly come as a result of the OPEC decision tonight to cut production. I guess the UK is never going to be completely energy independent but home produced gas might in some way make us less susceptible to these externally generated price shocks.

          • ‘but home produced gas might in some way make us less susceptible to these externally generated price shocks’

            We have home grown North Sea gas Mark, keep up. 20 billion barrels left of proven reserves. We have used 43 billion barrels since 1975. Production up last year 10.4% this year 6% and will rise until 2018.

            Renewables generating today and every day, reduce the burn of fossil oil and gas, that makes the home grown North Sea gas last even longer 🙂

            • Sherwulfe I find your support of N Sea gas but not onshore shale quite bizarre unless you are just representing a particular interest. As the CEO of Cuadrilla has said if onshore operations can’t beat the N Sea on costs by taking the gas out the ground in the Fylde and transporting it via an existing pipeline which is 100 metres away then they shouldn’t be in business. By the way what is the carbon profile of N Sea gas versus onshore gas.

              The more I learn about the fragilities of the world energy market the more I hope we remain invested in homegown gas, BOTH from the N Sea and onshore, AND renewables, why the need for competition?

              • The point is NS gas is already reserved. We have 20 billion barrels available. If we burn more than 40% of current reserves world wide we are over as a species. There is no point drilling for oil and gas onshore. It will not meet our climate change targets, destroy the countryside and pollute the environment further.

                The local impact of shale has already reduced or negated house prices which will cost the tax payer millions in the not so distant future. There are many other impacts. I don’t want to do a sermon! I’m sure you are intelligent to find these out for yourself.

                What I would like is renewables at capacity. Further reduction in use through insulation and smart saving. Use for need, not want or greed. It can be done. Everyone needs to take responsibility and do whatever they can.

                You could start by taking your money out of that white elephant company and put it into something that will be a help for the planet, not another cigarette! We need to start weaning ourselves off this fossil fuel addiction and face reality. It doesn’t really matter that the oil investor owned public media rubbish declares that lights are going off; predicting erroneously four months of snow, so you will panic and fill up your oil tank, so the storage tankers can off load; intelligent people know it is cow fertilizer.

                When clean energy production (and I don’t mean the ridiculous out-of-date nuclear) is at capacity and use of energy is smart, then and only then can we assess what fossil fuels, if any, we need. We can then stretch out any reserves for our great, great, great grandchildren and beyond; have minimal impact on the planet. Everyday fossil fuel burn is reduced by clean energy generation. Ramp it up.

  2. The public will continue fighting and will never grant a social licence to the fracking industry.
    Labour and the Lib Dems policy is to ban fracking, Scotland and Wales have a moratorium. A clear message to industry, their supporters and investors.

    The present government has stacked the planning cards in favour of fracking but a change of government, one accident and this industry is finished in the UK.
    And whilst those that support fracking will no doubt say Labour is unelectable that is an untested opinion.

    I am sure investors will see fracking as an extremely risky investment now with little political or public support.

    • KT. I agree anyone investing in the fracking industry in this country is taking a great risk. As you say, they may believe the Tories are here to stay, but don’t forget, I’m sure Dave and Ozzy believed they were here to stay and look what’s happened to them. With Brexit, the NHS, Hinckley, grammar schools, immigration and of course fracking. Who knows what will happen at the next election? There are such things as coalitions which means the Tories could very well be thrown out and the frackers with them. Doesn’t look like such a good investment bet to me.

      • Depends on how long you are investing for. If you had bought and sold I-Gas today (last hour of trading) you could have made 25% after the planner’s recommendation was made public? Very risky, yes I agree, but potentially very high reward if you know what you are doing (unfortunately I am not in that category).


        • I think it’s risky on many levels as an investment Paul, but Pauline’s point is a good one. Any government of any colour / composition apart from the Tories or Ukip are likely to frown on fracking. It’s only a “good” investment for the get rich quick lot who hope to profit by unloading before people start to see what happens if they get anywhere near production.

          You certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be holding Igas shares for the last couple of years – down from 148.25p in Jan 14 to 14.05p today. That’s a 90% loss.

  3. I wonder what people thought when the site was a Surface to Air Guided Weapon facility used as the Mk 1 Bloodhound Missile Launch site by the RAF? Personally I see a 5,000m conventional oil & gas well as significantly less hazardous than a missile site. And exponentially less hazardous than a location which the Russians would have targetted with nukes. Just my personal opinion….

    • Paul you are right that this site’s history is (slightly) less palatable than a conventional oil or gas well. However, in these proposals they are not talking about a conventional well, they are proposing high pressure hydraulic fracturing, a process which is causing massive health and pollution problems in the USA, Australia and other locations around the globe. Shale gas does NOT lower energy prices for consumers. The only people who benefit from it are the rich shareholders, who live nowhere near the fracking sites.

      • “The application does not include fracking but IGas has said it may apply for permission to frack in future.”

        It will be drilled in the same manner as any other conventional well with a sidetrack and / or horizontal section. If the shale looks attractive geologically and commercially I-Gas will have to apply again for planning permission and consents if they want to undertake fhydraulic fracturing.

        This well will be no different technically (except deeper) than the BP well drilled at Scaftworth-B2 in 1982.

      • Lyme, can you provide a single piece of evidence demonstrating widespread health and pollution problems in the US? I live in the US and I am unaware of any. The US Environmental Protection Agency has studied fracking for many years and it is also unaware of the “massive health problems” that you cite. What is the EPA missing? Or are you just taking after FoE and doing a little fearmongering? Hmmmmm? Hmmmmm?

  4. According to Max Keiser the British government is keen to push Fracking throughout Britain because they are using Shale gas/oil to secure Government loans and bonds. So it would seem money talks louder than people.

    • But S there isn’t any shale gas/oil yet so no revenue for the government. In any event with interest rates close to zero, HMG can borrow money more freely which is why the Chancellor has some leeway to finance infrastructure projects in the Autumn statement.

  5. Did you hear the interview with founder/ceo of INEOS – Jim Ratcliffe – on Radio 4 (around 7:20am) this morning – Tues … said there haven’t been any safety or environmental issues with Fracking in the U.S. Incredible!

    • Moonhopper, I think it’s probably more correct to say that shale is much safer compared to other fossil fuels. No industry has an unblemished safety record. I’m sure wind turbines are relatively safe but there are cases where they topple over or the turbine catches fire (by the way wind power is of course brilliant as part of a mixed energy supply system). It’s not a case of Safe but rather How Safe compared to the necessary alternatives. The trilemma of all energy projects is How Sustainable and Safe? How Reliable? How Cheap?

  6. We export 33.8% of the natural gas we produce and import 18%, our production of natural gas has increased year on year for the past 5 yrs. But hey let’s lock ourselves into shale gas which is subsidised to 75% by us the tax payers to make the likes of Jim Ratcliffe even richer & continues to add to climate change; great idea! You don’t believe there are health impacts? Please read the MedAct report by healthcare professionals to get an accurate view of the health risks from fracking….http://www.medact.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/medact_shale-gas_WEB.pdf
    And I know this isn’t an application for fracking but they want to drill to investigate for shale gas to then try to frack it……..so we are talking an fracking application really

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