Residents get say at Derbyshire meeting on INEOS shale gas plans after council u-turn

Derbyshire County Council offices Matlock

Derbyshire County Council offices at Matlock. Photo: Dave Bevis. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

Council officers have done a U-turn over whether people can give their views at a meeting to discuss INEOS plans for shale gas exploration in a Derbyshire village.

The County Council had told opponents of the company’s plans at Marsh Lane they would not be able to address the meeting of the planning committee next week.

But this afternoon, the council announced a change of heart. A statement said:

“Now local groups together with INEOS are being offered an opportunity to speak about the proposals at a meeting on Monday (5 February 2018) when the committee is due to consider a report from the senior council officer with responsibility for planning matters.”

The meeting in Matlock will decide what position the county council will take on the plans for a 2,400m shale gas exploration well at land off Bramleymoor Lane.

The application will be decided by a public inquiry because INEOS appealed last year to the Planning Inspectorate. The company said it was not prepared to allow more time for the county council to make a decision.

Derbyshire’s Strategic Director for Economy, Transport and Environment, Mike Ashworth, said today:

“We’re aware of the depth of feeling about this planning application and have reviewed our approach to the meeting next week so that the committee has a chance to hear views from relevant parties speaking for and against the proposal.

“Our planning committee considers each item on its individual merits and is impartial. Each planning decision is based on objective analysis of evidence, taking into account local and national planning policies and relevant comments of the public and official consultees such as parish councils.”

This week, the council decided not to consider a second, almost identical planning application from INEOS for Bramleymoor Lane. DrillOrDrop report

180129 Keep democracy local Dale Glossop

Two members of Eckington Against Fracking at Derbyshire County Council, 29 January 2018. Photo:  Dale Glossop

The local campaign group, Eckington Against Fracking, criticised this decision, arguing that it was undemocratic and residents should have a chance to address councillors.

INEOS also said the second application – known as twin-tracking – should have been considered by the county council. The company said this was “a route whereby a speedy determination could be reached”, reducing costs and delay of an appeal.

But Mr Ashworth said:

“Processing the first application has already cost the public purse around £100,000 compared to the nationally set fee of £8,000 paid by INEOS.

“Processing the second application would also have been expensive with no guarantees that we would have been in a position to decide on the application before the public inquiry is concluded.

“We would need to ask the public to comment again and there’s every chance that any decision taken by the committee could be appealed and subject to a further Public Inquiry.”

Last week, a report by planning officers concluded that the shale gas plans at Marsh Lane were acceptable only if strict planning controls were put in place on dust, ecology, the impact on roads and traffic, archaeology, lighting, and noise.

The report said there had been more than 3,000 individual objections but this figure could have reached as high as 5,000. A worldwide online petition against fracking at Marsh Lane and nearby Eckington has topped 90,000 signatures.

Residents and campaign groups have said the site is too close to local homes and a school and will harm the openness of the Green Belt. They are also concerned that night-time noise will breach maximum guidelines and disturb sleep patterns. More details on objections and the planning report in this DrillOrDrop report (see Key issues)

David Kesteven, chair of Eckington Against Fracking, has made a video for Derbyshire councillors outlining the group’s arguments against the Marsh Lane site. Link to video

Key dates

Thursday 1 February 2018

Public meeting about fracking by Eckington Against Fracking, 7.30pm, Eckington Miners’ Welfare, Pipeyard Lane, Eckington S21 4FA. Link

Friday 2 February 2018

Deadline for people who want to speak or make comments to the public inquiry on INEOS plans for Marsh Lane Link

Monday 5 February 2018

Meeting of Derbyshire County Council planning committee to decide the council’s position at the public inquiry, 1pm, County Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3AG. The meeting is to be webcast at: and a shuttle bus is running from Matlock interchange next t the train station to County Hall from 11am-1pm.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Pre inquiry meeting. Venue to be confirmed.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Opening date of public inquiry on INEOS plans for Marsh Lane. Venue to be confirmed.

Updated 1/2/2018 with link to video by Eckington Against Fracking

6 replies »

  1. Oh great, now we can look forward to fictitious facts via dubious left wing websites being recited for several hours.
    Think I’ll pass.

    • Yeah well – If you’re a Climate Change Denier – A believer that Fracking has to happen in this Green and Pleasant Land regardless of the consequences – A person totally committed to the myth that Fracking will make us Energy Independent – You don’t believe that an earthquake in Blackpool in 2011 was caused by the first active Fracking procedure to be executed in the UK – You think all these stories about devastating consequences of wholesale Fracking in the USA are a fiction – And so on etc. etc. etc.

      Then in the near future if Fracking proceeds, don’t start complaining that – You have to get your drinking water from plastic bottles sold to you by Nestle. Your children suffer from birth defects because you live close to a Fracking Site. The value of your house is tumbling due to an increased probability of Seismic Events – Your nice quiet country lanes are clogged with HGV’s both supplying huge volumes of what once was your drinking water to the Frackers, and taking away those same huge volumes of spent Fracking Fluids – Ad infinitum.

      Oh well – At least we Anti-Frackers have stood by our principles with courage and conviction.

  2. Fictitious facts?

    The meaning of these words are:

    Fictitious: not real or true; imaginary or fabricated.
    Fact: a thing that is known or proved to be true.

    It can only be one or the other. Fortunately many of us are grounded enough to know the difference between what is a fact and what is fiction.

      • Hi Joe, i think transparency disappeared years ago, it has been replaced by unaccountability and avoidance.
        The trouble, i think, with the type of malfunctioning name only democracy that has operated, or rather not operated has been the worst type of so called democracy, representational democracy. Even the Greeks said that was was the worst possible version, since it always descends into the private club mentality where all the so called representatives belong to a couple of supposedly competing political groups and those internal pressures prevent freedom of speech and action to represent community groups that is not approved by central committees.
        Highjack the political factions, corrupt the committees and hey presto! Democracy becomes a private profit motivated power game that fails to represent anyone but the power base that preserves the ever more greedy and corrupt political party.
        Democracy gets subsumed in all but name and the only words left to describe the result are emotive ones, oligarchy, corporatocracy, totalitarinaism, and elitism and fascism. Those are what we see all around us now, and it all stems from giving a representational elite the power to make decisions independent of the communities they are supposed to represent.

        The other form of democracy, the more interactive, but more stable type is direct democracy, that is each community essentially becoming self governing, like the cantons in Switzerland, the kibbutz in Israel, and many tribal committees and societies that have a process and societal responsibility to their communities.

        No systems of social government are perfect, all have flaws, but its a matter of degree, clearly the high jacked and corrupted system of representative democracy in UK and most western countries has failed miserably to preserve any degree of true democratic representation.

        There is only one peaceful way to counteract that, and that is to operate direct democracy at a local level and then work upwards and eventually reach the central government and replace it with something that represents everybody, not just a greedy self appointed elite few?

        That is what the fracking catalyst has revealed i think, and not before time either.

  3. There we are, my spell checker has become corrupted too it seems?

    “totalitarinaism” typo should be “totalitarianism” could that be changed please?


Leave a Reply to Roy Greason Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s