Regulation

Fourth delay to IGas shale gas site at Misson, Notts

proposed-springs-road-misson-shale-site-aerial-picture

Aerial view of the IGas shale gas site, a former cold war missile base at Springs Road, Misson

Work at IGas’s shale gas site near Misson in north Nottinghamshire looks unlikely to start until at least June.

A legal agreement to finalise the planning permission at the former cold war missile base at Springs Road has been delayed for a fourth time.

It was due to signed-off today (31 March 2017). But Nottinghamshire County Council said the target date had been extended again, this time for a further two months to 30 May 2017.

The new target date is more than six months after the meeting of the council’s planning committee which approved the application.

Work on the site cannot begin until the agreement, known as a Section 106, has been completed.

The planning committee met on 15 November 2016. The first target date for the agreement was 5 January 2017. This was extended to 31 January, followed by 28 February and then 31 March.

IGas’s plans to drill two shale gas exploration wells, one vertical and one horizontal. The company did not apply to frack either well.

Bond for restoration

The legal agreement includes a bond which would be used to pay for restoration of the site if IGas went out of business.

Correspondence seen by DrillOrDrop suggests some delays may have arisen during early negotiations between the council and IGas. In December 2016, the council asked IGas for a more detailed breakdown of the costs of restoration.

In January, the value of an insurance policy to cover restoration was set at £650,000. There was no sum assigned for after-care. DrillOrDrop report

The agreement also includes:

  • Designated route for all heavy goods vehicles visiting the site
  • Drivers’ code of conduct
  • IGas responsibility for any highway damage caused by its vehicles on the designated route
  • Community liaison committee
  • Monitoring of water levels close to the site

“Complex agreement”

Giving details of previous delays, the County Council referred to the lorry route running through both Nottinghamshire and the neighbouring authority of Doncaster

This afternoon, Adrian Smith, the council’s Corporate Director, said:

“The legal agreement for this planning permission is complex, covers a number of different issues and involves several parties – which means it is taking longer to complete than we originally anticipated.

“However, significant progress has been made on all aspects of the agreement and all parties are in agreement that a further extension to the target date is required.”

Links

Nottinghamshire County Council press release

DrillOrDrop page on Springs Road, Misson

DrillOrDrop report on November 2016 planning meeting

4 replies »

  1. The “benefits” of local democracy!!

    If this had been an agreement between two private companies it would have been weeks, at the most. Council is probably having difficulty with choosing the biscuits for the meetings! (If you need to conclude an agreement, you get everyone together who is part of that agreement, all parties prepare fully, and you stay until it is concluded. Then everyone is free to move on to other matters.)

    I don’t like to whinge on a Friday, and this is not just to do with oil exploration. If anyone has any experience with trying to get any action from a council they will recognise this is absolutely standard. There is no concept of time-scale. The longer something takes the better for justifying a bigger budget for the next fiscal year.

    Soon be time for the May elections-but it won’t make any difference. All parties are the same, and the council departments remain.

  2. Martin, I don’t dispute that the “our pace is the only pace” approach of many councils puts brakes on concluding things quickly, but in this case, FOIA info suggests that the private company in question has been less than forthcoming in providing information to close out the restoration bond.

  3. Every person I’ve come across in a council has been pretty much thick. Problem is no intelligent person would want to take up a job in the mundane and dreary environment.

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