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.
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.