Campaigns hot up over fracking in the East Midlands


The campaigns for and against fracking are in full swing in the area south of Sheffield after INEOS announced it would be applying for planning permission for shale gas exploration.

Between now and the end of January, there are at least eight events about fracking in the 12 miles between Dronfield and Worksop. There are also another two events in Sheffield.

Shale gas plans

On 6 January, INEOS confirmed it had identified a site at Bramleymoor Lane, near the villages of Marsh Lane and Apperknowle, in Eckington parish. The company said it was taking the first steps towards submitting an application for a vertical exploration well.

DrillOrDrop reported that INEOS had sent a screening request to Derbyshire County Council about the application. The council must now tell the company whether an environmental impact assessment of its plans is needed.

Since this emerged, membership of the Eckington Against Fracking Facebook page has gone from less than 100 to more than 1,870.

An anti-fracking petition to Derbyshire County Council and the local MP, Natasha Engel, had – at the time of writing – more than 46,700 signatures. A second petition to the UK government had more than 440 signatures.

On the other side of argument, INEOS distributed three leaflets in and around Eckington and announced plans for a public exhibition.

Chaotic meeting

A heated meeting of Eckington parish council threatened to get out of hand on Tuesday (10 January 2017) when around 70 residents demanded answers about the plans.

A representative of INEOS, Gordon Grant, was heckled when he tried to speak.

He told the meeting:

“We’ve already heard a number of very valid concerns and I know there’s a whole lot more in this room.”

But he was frequently interrupted with more questions and the chairman of the meeting warned residents he would clear the room. “Can you please give the gentleman a voice”, he demanded. Video of the meetiing by Kerry Edees

The parish council has now organised an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday 24 January. The plans will be also be discussed by Unstone Parish Council on Thursday 19 January.

An INEOS spokesperson said Mr Grant attended the meeting to give information about the forthcoming exhibition:

“We were conscious that the Parish Council meets every two months and we would be in danger of falling between meetings which didn’t feel right to us.

“We were actually pleased that a large number of residents attended as it meant that they would see an INEOS face.”

The spokesperson said INEOS had written to the Parish Council on 5 January to outline plans for the site and offer a meeting.

“The letter would have arrived too late to be considered at the meeting. The potential site off Bramleymoor Lane was not discussed with Parish Councillors before the submission of the screening letter was announced.

“The Parish Council was invited to send representatives to our town hall meetings in May and November 2016.

“We distributed three leaflets (a general information leaflet, a site specific information leaflet and an invitation to the exhibition) this week and had a number of constructive conversations with residents in the process of doing so.”

  • Whitwell Parish Council, in Nottinghamshire, voted on 11 January to refuse permission to INEOS to carry out seismic testing on Welbeck Street recreation ground.

Events in the Eckington area

Saturday 14 January 2017

Frack Free Eckington leafleting in Shireoaks, Rhodesia and Thorpe Salvin. 10.30am, meet at Laura’s Coffee Shop, 2 Shireoaks Row, Shireoaks S81 8LW (next to canal and near the railway station).

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Regional anti-fracking meeting for campaigners in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, 7pm, 37 Stafford Road, Sheffield S2 2SF. Not a public meeting.

Dronfield against fracking meeting, 7.30pm, Green Dragon Pub, Church Street, Dronfield S18 1Q8

Thursday 19 January 2017

Unstone Parish Council meeting at which the INEOS application will be discussed, 7.30pm, Moorland View Meeting Room, near the Barracks Pub, Apperknowle

Monday 23 January 2017

Sheffield Against Fracking free screening of the film, Living with Fracking, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 2JB. Invitation only.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Extraordinary General Meeting of Eckington Parish Council, Eckington Civic Centre, Market Street, Eckington, Derbyshire, S21 4JG, time to be confirmed

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Mosborough Against Fracking monthly meet-Up, 8pm, The Alma, 76 South Street, Mosborough, S20 5DF

Thursday 26 January 2017

Are we going to be fracked?’ Anti-fracking presentation, 7.30pm, Green Lawns Community Centre, 8 Warren Walk, Marsh Lane, Derbyshire S21 5RX

Are we going to be fracked?’ Anti-fracking presentation, 7-9pm, Shireoaks Village Hall, St Luke’s Church, Shireoaks Road, Shireoaks S81 8LX

Tuesday 31 January 2017

INEOS exhibition, 2pm-8pm, Green Lawns Community Centre, 8 Warren Walk, Marsh Lane, Derbyshire S21 5RX

Please let us know here if you’d like us to add your events about shale gas in the Eckington area or if any details here are wrong.

12 replies »

  1. Yet more winding people up with fake science at these meetings doubtless. Friends of the Earth’s inability to defend their rubbish science to the ASA means they should not be there.

    Perhaps people should realise we live in a well regulated country with high standards. Well issues from the US are rare and usually minor. Fracking has never polluted any aquifer and toxic and carcinogenic chemicals are forbidden by law, so whats the issue?

  2. Ken, What do you mean by “Fracking” ? Some mean the whole process of Gas drilling, fracturing and production…Some mean just the fracturing phase of the whole process. In the US, we have our most recent five-year study by our EPA and they found instances where the aquifers and our water wells can be polluted…See the EPA Report just released in Dec. of 2016 :
    We have hundreds of documented cases of water contamination from the gas drilling/fracking on public file in my state of Pennsylvania by our State Government Regulatory Agency, the DEP.
    Usually, there are defective casings and cement issues and spills on the ground that contribute to contamination/pollution of the aquifers.
    There is some evidence that the fracturing phase has negative issues for our water….that needs more study….
    and what “laws” are you referring to that forbid toxic and carcinogenic chemicals being used in the Fracking?
    The Fracturing itself releases whatever is in the rock besides the gases…What is in your rock/limestone? do you have heavy metals, radioactivity, bacteria… like we do in our shales…
    Our documented water contamination cases from the Gas Drilling going on the past ten years are not minor, since the water involved is still polluted and ongoing for several years and folks are still dealing with contamination in my county since 2008-2009 and need replacement water still.
    How deep are your water aquifers in the areas being considered and when the Gas Drilling Company drills, how many casings and cement walls are they using and how deep down and do they go with the casings and cement to below your aquifers? the company, INEOS, how long have they been drilling…do they drill also for oil….besides gas? how deep down will the vertical exploration well go?

  3. Chaotic is a somewhat emotive word, its a shame that you did not say heated or lively, i think that was a mistake. Incidentally, in physics, the word Chaos simply means complex order, since there is no such thing as the concept of uncontrolled chaos, meaning no order in nature, or indeed anywhere in the entire universe, everything follows the rules of physics, including. Debate is also complex order, the forum for debate is often mistaken as some sort of objective pros ans cons argument. Humans however are emotional creatures, everything we think say and do is emotionally driven, logic is an ideal, objectivity is an ideal, however in reality these elements are oten as not used by those involved to make emotional stance, attack and defense, co-operation or conflict. The rules are complex, often we just dont understand our own complex interactions and the rules are mostly subconscious.
    What could be said about this interaction, is that many people feel they have been excluded and side lined and their voice is not listened to or acted upon. What this interaction shows is that feelings of people have reached a breaking point, the result is what we saw in the video. That is not chaos, it is a direct result of how people have been treated so far, its the result of peoples frustration at being ignored at every turn. Had the process of representation, inquiry and proper debate been served by council, the government the media and INEOS, things would perhaps have been less of a highly complex order and perhaps less complex and emotional.
    so what are we to draw from this? its really very simple it is true and open debate of all the aspects of this operation, not just one side given the loudest and sometimes the only voice over the whole issue.
    That concept seems to be either beyond the authorities and the developers, or perhaps they think they have no responsibility to respond in a more open and honest and caring way?
    so frankly i am not surprised that the meeting became heated, but it does indicate a complete disregard and perhaps ignorance for the complex system of feelings and emotions when people feel, rightly or wrongly that they have been ignored.
    the answer is simple, give local people a debate forum, let the emotions free and get it all out in the open, then when some sort of consensus is a achieved and communicated, take the debate straight to the heart of INEOS, council and government and make them liable to answer every point and question before a spade is put in the ground. To do less than that is simply going to cause more heated debates and complex order.

    • sounds reasonable , Phil….give the People opportunity for a debate forum….where Citizens can freely express and speak and take note of good points and suggestions and concerns to bring to meetings with INEOS, council and government….

  4. OK, is there anyone reading this who lives in the Derbyshire area who would put this to the council and INNEOS? In fact i would suggest we all make such representations to their local authorities for a debate forum, i shall be doing the same in North Dorset.
    Lets get something positive moving.

  5. May not be INEOS where you live, i recall the map here on one of the DrillOrDrop posts, every company with plans for exploration and exploitation should be willing to hold these as a matter of public relations if the Councillors are obstructive.

    • The Ineos team follow this site. (drill or drop April 2016).

      Let’s see if they want to talk.


      When you were holding meetings with the public last year is it true that when talking about the financial benefits you referenced gas prices from a year and a half previously when prices were much higher?

      • It was the article on the 5th of April 2016

        ‘Ineos plans private shale gas meeting for parish councillors’

        Ineos shale responded to my comments so clearly they are watching.

        • OK if you are there INEOS would you be willing to attend a public meeting, free and open, where everyone may ask questions, just to be clear, this will be a public hearing, not run by any side or pressure group, councillors public and developers free to attend but not run on anyone’s behalf. Perhaps a talking stick and no interruption policy.
          How about it?

          • Same offer to all public, developers and councils in all areas where there are either active sites or proposed sites.
            How about it?

  6. John-I would really like to see you discuss with Jim, why Ineos invested huge sums of money to build ships to bring fracked gas from USA to Grangemouth, and you declaring why his economics were rubbish! And why he invested in obtaining licences for on land extraction in UK, and this also was rubbish economics!

    However, I suspect it would be a very short conversation. Then you could move on to have a debate or two with a few of the Internet billionaires to tell them they were wrong too. This is going back to flat earth mentality.

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