Council to “strongly object” to INEOS shale gas exploration plans at Woodsetts

171209 Monks blessing at Woodsetts Steve Bramley

INEOS’s proposed shale gas site at Woodsetts, south Yorkshire, visited last week by Buddhist monks. Photo: Steve Bramley

INEOS plans to explore for shale gas in the south Yorkshire village of Woodsetts are disproportionate, intrusive and in the wrong place, according to the parish council.

The proposal was already causing stress and anguish to elderly villagers, the council said.

The front page of the Woodsett Christmas newsletter (see below) said the council would strongly object to the INEOS planning application.

The council said the application had “many inaccuracies”, and described it as “extremely long-winded and difficult to traverse”. There were also questions about the ownership of the land earmarked for the site, off Dinnington Road.

INEOS has applied to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) to drill a vertical coring well and carry out pressure tests. The application does not include fracking.

Woodsetts Parish Council said it was recommending  Rotherham refuse the application on grounds including highway safety, loss of important open spaces, noise and disturbance, smell, effect on wildlife, inappropriate scale and enclosure of land.

This decision means there has been opposition from all the parish councils in the three locations where INEOS has made planning applications for shale gas exploration.

The company has appealed against non-determination of proposals at Harthill, also in Rotherham council area, and Marsh Lane near Eckington in Derbyshire. It alleges there have been unreasonable delays in deciding the applications, an argument rejected by the councils. DrillOrDrop reported yesterday these appeals would be decided at public inquiries.

171212Woodsetts newsletter

Reasons for objection

Woodsetts Parish Council said in its formal objection (link here) :

“There are many inaccuracies in the application and it is extremely long winded and difficult to traverse.

“It is also noted that the ownership of the land and the gated area close to it is in question”.

The council added:

“This site does not offer any more advantages to the developer than one placed in a location away from houses and schools. To our knowledge Ineos have not explored fully or to our satisfaction alternative sites.

“We fully believe that the negatives aspects of the development as listed far outweigh the need to use this location.

“RMBC have not requested a full Environmental Impact Assessment for this development but considering there is now a cumulative impact across the current search area with Harthill and Eckington(Derbyshire) we would ask that this is re-considered.”

170926 INEOS injunction Woodsetts Against Fracking

The INEOS site at Woodsetts marked with notices prohibiting access under a High Court injunction. Photo: Woodsetts Against Fracking

“Unsuited to heavy traffic”

On highway issues, the council said Woodsetts was a rural village unsuited to construction phase traffic or increases in traffic in other phases.

Woodsetts Road, which would be the route for lorries to the site, is used by children at the local school. Their safety should be a priority, the council said.

It argued that visibility splays for the site were inadequate and the proposed escort vehicles would cause disruption to residents. The proposal would exacerbate traffic problems that had been a serious concern for villagers for many years.

The council also said the size of vehicles would cause inconvenience to emergency services. Road sweeping would add to problem traffic and the proposed road signage would be unwelcome and visually unappealing. There would be an adverse effect on public transport and proposed changes to speed controls would be unwelcome and inconvenient.

“Overbearing and disproportionate”

The proposed site is in the green belt. It would be highly visible in an area of high landscape quality, the council said.

The proposed enclosure of the site and its overall size were not in keeping with the surrounding area and would be visually intrusive.

“It will have an overbearing and disproportionate impact on the surrounding area.”

The council said:

“Walkers and families who use the footpath and bridleway will lose the vast majority of their enjoyment of the area, ie quiet, peaceful and visually attractive views which at present increase the quality of life of many residents.”

“Stress and anguish”

The council said the site would be a nuisance for elderly people living nearby. “They should not be subjected to major upheaval and nuisance”, it said.

“It has been reported to our councillors the stress and anguish of this proposed development is already having a detrimental effect on their mental and physical well-being”.

The council raised concerns about noise and fumes from diesel generators and said this, along with light pollution, would have an adverse effect on homeowners and pedestrians. Because of the prevailing wind, the school was also likely to be affected.


The council said the site would have a “catastrophic effect” on wildlife in nearby historic woodland, including five species of bats, toads, hares, deer, partridge, quail and slow worms.


DrillOrDrop invited INEOS to respond to the parish council’s objection. This post will be updated with any response.

Public comments on the Woodsetts application close on 12 January 2018

Link to application details

Link to Woodsetts Parish Council objection

15 replies »

  1. Shock horror a local council not wanting to upset local residents! This will inevitably get through any hurdles put up.

    • An honourable sportsman is meant to do their best to run and leap over the hurdles in a sportsman like fashion, not wait till everyone has gone home to sleep and then have the hurdles all removed in the dark and be sanctioned by the complicit sports authority? And then run around leaping and punching the air to themselves like they have actually engaged in any game rules whatsoever?

      Or do they only play if they can cheat in USA?

      Explains a lot doesn’t it?

      Never mind, darkness can hide many things, but not cowardice.

  2. At least they have the injunction to protect them GBK, so that their ambulance service will not have to deal with “Fracking protestors fake police injuries for the TV cameras”.(Today’s Times, P27.) and will not be delayed by protestors when responding to genuine emergencies.

    But, the North West Ambulance Service must all be staffed and managed by AJLucas speculators, and their comments will be out of order!

  3. I expect there will be full confidence in the company’s ability to stop their pipelines leaking, oh wait theirs just did in Aberdeen!

  4. You mean the pipeline Ineos bought only SIX WEEKS ago, that was opened in 1975?? Now, almost immediately, found that the seam, which runs in a spiral along the length of the pipe, had come into contact with rocks on the underside. resulting in a crack. Of course, I see your “point” Paula, those rocks have obviously been introduced by Ineos in the last six weeks!

    Funny that most house purchasers discover their new property has some maintenance/repair work required, but obviously shock/horror is required in this instance.

    You succeed Paula in making a point you were trying not to. Ineos have bought an asset of great significance to the UK economy and have almost immediately identified that asset requires some urgent maintenance, and are setting about doing just that. Looks very much like cause for full confidence-almost Gold Standard.

    Woodsetts should be most encouraged by such efficiency.

  5. It is the Parish Council’s job to represent local residents, none of whom seem to support this application. It’s easy for GottaBKidding to dismiss this, as he obviously lives in the USA.

  6. Since when do local residents come out in support of such applications? Usually, they keep mum, if they are not against.

    GBK is correct. He has not dismissed anything, he just states what is the reality.

  7. Not speculation again, Sherwulfe??

    6 weeks sounds more like instant to me, rather than strategic. Ineos do not sit on their hands, you should have realised that by now.

    • So, Martin. Let’s get this right……in your world a guy goes up to another in a pub. “Scuse me mate, wanna sell me yeh pipeline?” First guy can’t believe his luck. “Ehh, yeh, brilliant, its a bit old and needs some fixin, but I’ll let yeh have it cheap”. So first guy spits on his hand and the other does the same and they both shake on it. The guy pulls out a wad of cash and hands it over…done deal, all in the twinkling of an eye……..chuckle 🙂

  8. KatT-try Giggling agriculture. They have a pretty “terrible” H&S record, if you select accordingly. The motor car industry is not much better.

    However, it will not prevent many from jumping in their cars tonight, to go out to dinner.

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