Rotherham councillors reject last minute traffic changes for INEOS shale gas site at Harthill

180125 Harthill site visit Paul Rowland 2

Rotherham Council site visit to Harthill, 25 January 2018. Photo: Paul Rowland

Councillors have rejected a revised traffic management scheme for INEOS’s shale gas site at Harthill in Rotherham – against the advice of officials.

The company’s proposals were made public within days of the start of next week’s public inquiry on the site.

INEOS has appealed over what it said was an unacceptable delay in the decision on its application to drill and test an exploratory shale gas well at Common Road, Harthill.

Rotherham Council’s planning board  voted unanimously in January to oppose the application at the public inquiry. They said the proposals were unacceptable on highway safety and ecological grounds.

But as arrangements for the inquiry were being finalised, INEOS submitted changes to the proposed traffic management scheme.

The new scheme included new passing places on the proposed lorry route and the additional use of stop-go boards and banksmen to control vehicle movements. The company also dropped plans for a traffic regulation order to take control of the local road network when it wanted to bring in vehicles.

The revisions were added as an emergency item to today’s planning board meeting at Rotherham Town Hall.

The council’s highway officer, Ian Ferguson, told the meeting:

“Taking this package of measures, together with the temporary nature of the works, I have no choice but to withdraw my objection on road safety grounds.”

The board was recommended to drop its opposition to the scheme on highway safety grounds at the inquiry which begins on Tuesday (24 April 2018).

But members voted by eight to three to maintain their traffic objections.

The local councillor, Dominic Beck, described it as “shameful” that INEOS had not sent a representative to the meeting.

INEOS had said the proposals would provide a long-lasting community benefit. But Cllr Beck said:

“No it won’t. The local community don’t want more passing places because what’s going to happen for these passing places to be implemented is for ancient hedgerows, local habitats and local ecology to be depleted even further.

“The local community does not need more passing places that will be retained after the drilling has taken place. To call it a betterment is just a sop.”

He said the new measures assumed the banksmen and stop-go boards would be in place when needed. “It’s just not good enough”, he said, adding:

“I hope the inspector will see this as a desperate attempt to try to develop Harthill for hydraulic fracturing at the site that is being considered. I think it is shameful.”

The meeting also heard from Harthill Against Fracking and Friends of the Earth, who had both opposed the original proposals.

Deborah Gibson, of Harthill Against Fracking, said:

“To the community, this sounds like a desk-top discussion. We have to live with this. The changes that appellant has made make no difference to the quality of life and the usability of the roads.”

Richard Dyer, of Friends of the Earth, said:

“There is good reason to be sceptical that any planning conditions would be adhered to. It is not uncommon that conditions entered into by local authorities in good faith with the best intentions are simply ignored in practice.”

One board member, Cllr Jennifer Whysall, INEOS accused the company of treating the authority with contempt. “It is despicable, desperation”, she said.

She described the proposals as “haphazard” and an “Elastoplast”. She said the proposed passing places would be “very dangerous for a lot of people”.

Cllr Jenny Andrews said of the new scheme:

“It highlights the unsuitability of the road if they have to put in all these passing places.”

Cllr Bob Walsh was the only board member to speak in favour of the scheme. He said:

“It just about works. Because it is temporary, I don’t think we can sustain it as an objection.”

The planning board agreed that Mr Ferguson would represent their views at the inquiry. It is expected that the inquiry inspector will deal with the issue at the opening and that an adjournment is possible.

The inquiry is likely to hear from INEOS, Harthill Against Fracking, and local residents, as well as Rotherham Council.

After the meeting, Friends of the Earth said:

“Well done Rotherham Council for again standing up to INEOS, the majority of Councillors, quite rightly, were unconvinced by INEOS’ last minute, sticking plaster solutions to the major traffic impacts that this test drill will impose on Harthill. We look forward to supporting the Council’s position at the Public Inquiry into INEOS’ plans starting on Tues 24th April”.

44 replies »

  1. U boats and clean water powered generators Phil? Please…

    The U.K has been subsidising all these green intermittent renewables for years at a heavy cost to us the consumer through green taxes.

    Go for it, we want low cost reliable green energy. Where is it? Then we don’t have to rely on Norway, Qatar, Russia, U.S shale to keep the lights on.

    Future years will mean more and more imported gas and electricity, with increasing costs to the consumer.

    Scottish Power the latest energy supplier has put up prices today partly due to the beast from the east pushing gas prices up to 13 year highs to be imported in. LNG from Russia saving the day, will that happen next time? Security of supply anyone?

    U.K gas production is on the decline and green energy projects will not proceed without subsidies payed by us in green taxes

    Do you still want unqualified Councillors overturning qualified professionals so they can hold onto their council seats?

    • Oh dear, stuck in the groove again?

      Yes, Please! We seem to keep getting stuck here don’t we?

      Well thats OK, lets have no more talk of holding the people and government of UK to energy monopoly ransome then shall we?

      There may be quicker ways to alienate everyone in the country, but it’s a trier I’ll give you that?

      It’s not rocket science kisheny, we can’t rely on one fossilised source of energy, that is simply not intelligent. Diversification is everything.

      Fossil fuels will no doubt continue for as long as we can be fooled into thinking it’s economically or ecologically feasible and be held to ransom for it.

      In fact you have precisely illustrated why we must not depend upon fossil fuels, because of that very attitude of threatening to ransom an entire country, just because the industry can’t get it’s own greedy way on a few traffic enquiries?

      The earth orbits a powerful star, it’s a fusion generator, and its electromagnetic influence zone extends two and a half light years out, and encompasses eight nine or ten planets, no one seems to be certain anymore, and you think digging up fossilised plants is the only source of energy? It’s staring us in the face every day.

      We haven’t emerged from the fossil fuelled energy dark ages yet into the freely available sunshine.

      Fossil fuels pollute, it’s as simple as that. There have been moves to make the internal combustion engine more than 40% efficient, but those inventions also got supressed.

      Look it up. The 100 mpg engine, the plasma spark plug, the vortex carburettor, the zero wear tyre. And yes, the water fuelled car. All were invented and quickly supressed, why were they supressed? You know the answer to that, and it’s why we get talk of ransoming and frackmailing an entire country?

      Renewables are clean and intelligently utilising the very forces of nature that are the only way ahead. Wind, tidal, geothermal, electromagnetic, they are all more efficient and easily available and one hell of a lot less polluting. Batteries are in their infancy, graphene is all ready showing us the way to go on that. Simple carbon, no exotic elements.

      H20, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, two of the most inflammable elements on the planet.

      Do you really think they can’t be used for energy? It’s been done several times by different innovators, and it’s been supressed just as many times, why? because of the fossil fuel monopoly, simple as that.

      Check out the links I gave you last time we got stuck in this groove.

      You can’t fight intelligent progress, only delay it, or better still, refuse to acknowledge it.

      [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

      • It seems the internal combustion engine is less efficient than I thought, no more than 20 to 25+% and diesels are actually more efficient, 30 to 35%. It depends on how big they are and their use.
        When photosynthesis of chlorophyll is 99% efficient due to quantum physics, surely we can do better than a measly 35% efficiency internal combustion engines?
        We really are in the dark ages of energy use and production aren’t we?

  2. Absolute nonsense crembrule. If you really think the current offers to the locals, based upon no output, is what might be on offer if there is significant economic output then you live in a strange world. But to expect others to inhabit such a place does show desperation.
    There are other projects that show how much of a nonsense this is. Ignore those if you want to, but please do others the courtesy that they will be somewhat more practical, and discerning. Some will do their own research.

    • Martin you appear to be ranting about just the community payments so I will address your outburst. How much have the 29 households within 1km been paid, actually don’t bother answering its £2078 and the 259 households between 1km and 1.5km away get a whopping £150, ( CAUTION lucky households in the second community benefit band DO NOT spend all your bonus at once).

      The larger proposed government backed frackpot does not come into affect until production phase but the disruption they are supposedly being compensated for they are experiencing now. Buts it to late by then, quality of life all ready impacted by noise, air quality reductions, HGV vehicles affecting road safety, police/protestor activity, potential affects to house prices and/or ability to sell at real market value occurring etc etc

      As I said earlier you can have you view on it but until you are living in the midst of this industry your view doesn’t hold much weight with those that do.

  3. Phil the earth does orbit a powerful star, it spins; when our part of the earth is in darkness solar panels produce zero electricity.

    When The wind doesn’t blow turbines produce zero electricity

    Batteries have been around since 1800. Batteries are hardly in their infancy unless you consider 218 years young.

    If you feel that we are all being hoodwinked about energy be it vortex carburettors or water powered engines please inform the British Government so we can all rid ourselves of the shackles we politically find ourselves to Russia, the Middle East etc

    U.K Crimestoppers hotline Tel 0800 555 111

    It’s anonymous if that helps regarding u boats and zero wear tyres etc etc…

    Phil if you are connected to the electricity and gas grid and also use plastic products you are a consumer of gas.

    Don’t buy Norwegian, Russian, Dutch, American, Qatari buy British…

      • Oh yes, geothermal intermittent is it? Tides intermittent are they? Electromagnetism suddenly ceases does it? Put solar panels all around the earth linked together, put wind generators up high where the wind never stops, cable it to the ground, harness lightning, all free, easy peasy no acid squeezy.

          • When you have emerged from that rather strangely perverse fossil fuelled fracking fantasy Kish.
            Take a look out the window [edited by moderator]
            Here there is an electrical storm in progress, all that free energy going to waste. Natures bountiful lessons. Totally ignored by the non cognoscenti as of no blinkered significance because it doesn’t support the industry’s gas powered PR thought police propaganda?

            But It seems the feeble Fracking empire are so fatally configured, they would rather drill kilometers under the ground for millions of years old gas rather than simply use nature to supply it for free right here right now?

            They would rather destroy entire communities, poison their air and their water, destroy their health and environment, and all for offshore tax haven profit and plastics.

            And yet free power is coursing around the sky right now, and they can’t even see it? Or even acknowledge it’s existence?

            [Edited by moderator]

            Apparently it’s not what the inmates of the frack earth home for the frequently bewildered can see that makes them a suitable case for treatment , it’s what they refuse to see that condemns them?

            Starving in a land of milk and honey, parched in an ocean of unpolluted fresh water. Ignorant in a universe of information.

            It seems you can lead an entire PR department of anti antis to the magnificent world of the planetary library of wonders and reason. But you can’t make them read anything but MAD comics it seems?

            [Edited by moderator]

  4. Well, Kisheny, that appeared interesting! I don’t read the other side of the comments for reasons you will be familiar with, but obviously a continuation of the “alternatives” out there are available. A few of them are, but the majority are still alternative because they fail either the practical or economic test-or both. Add to that the conspiracy that it is the “system” disallowing development and welcome to the parallel universe.

    A very simple, and classic example, is the tidal lagoon at Swansea. Nice idea but I have yet to hear those supporting explain the practicalities ie. whether it will be economic to the consumer and how it will be built. If they were raising the £1 billion plus, then that’s one situation, but to expect the tax payer to fund that and then state “if it works, we intend to build a bigger one at Cardiff” is not a strong selling point! Even a small business start up needs a sound business plan to attract the funding and so far, that appears to be largely missing from this scheme and so the delay in the decision. A good example of the climate change gravy train being utilised as the main selling point with little attention to the fundamentals. Mind you, that is the way the UK energy policy has evolved. Governments making energy decisions to placate groups of activists rather than produce a coherent plan to benefit consumers and industry, and provide energy security.

    • Ahhh the blinkered view is almost as bizarre as the denial view, and just as pointless, enjoy your self enforced isolation from reality martin, we will awaken you from your stasis when the world is cleaner and saner, until then, sleep on my friend, and dream of sheeple.

      • Well, that was fun?

        Its Sunday again folks!

        And getting back to the subject of the traffic inquiries, the name of Dagger Lane sprang out from the page?
        So at the risk of overdosing on William Shakespeare, which (witch?) is surely not possible, this little soliloquy sprang to mind:
        Slightly altered just for fun of course?

        Spoken by Frackdeth, Act 2 Scene 1

        Is this a Dagger lane which I see before me?

        The sharp angle high way toward my land? Come, let me reflect thee.

        I see thee in convexity not, and yet I see thee in broken misplaced mirror still.

        Art thou not, fatal vision, insensible to oncoming populace?

        To driving as to a sight line? or art thou but

        A Dagger Lane of the mind, a false creation,

        Proceeding from the methane-oppressed brain?

        I see thee yet, in form as palpable

        As to this which I now inquiry make.

        Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going;

        And such an instrument convex and distort I was to use.

        Mine eyes are made the fools o’ the other senses,

        Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,

        And on thy verge are dudgeon’d gouts of blood,

        Which was not so before. There’s no such thing:

        As HGV, There is but obstruct’sion?

        It is the bloody corpor irate business which malinforms

        Thus to mine eyes. Now o’er the one half lit world

        Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams of profit abuse

        The curtain’d sheep, in their sleep; roadcraft celebrates

        That is safety negate and life abused

        Pale Hecate’s highway offerings, and wither’d passing bay muddied,

        Alarum’d by his speeding sentinel, the wolf speeds full tilt,

        All hail the pace and cluttered passing place

        Whose prowl’s the nights watch, and thus with unstealthy pace.

        With fluttering Cuadrill’s and raging Ineosane ravishing strides, towards a base design

        Moves like a glaring ghost. Thou ‘art so sure to frack-set the earth,

        Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear of collision dire

        Thy very stones probed deep of my roundabout,

        And take the present traffic horror from the time,

        Which now suits with it. Whiles I tread and protest, he lives:

        Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

        Tis’ to Roseacre that yet lives

        And will live on, when delving prates and scrapes are gone and best forgotten

        Then a happy day will be.

        Have a great Sunday with family and friends, and, be careful out there!

          • Not a Shakespeare fan then”
            Didn’t you know, I’m bad, your mad, everyone is mad, all the best people are you know?
            Lewis Carroll
            Alice In Wonderland

            • Wow, that’s the first time I’ve heard anyone who appreciates Shakespeare, insane; that makes me insane too!
              Is that like when people call something ‘sick’ nowdays it means awesome!!

              ‘All the world’s a stage,
              And all the men and women merely players;
              They have their exits and their entrances,
              And one man in his time plays many parts,
              His acts being seven ages.’
              As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

            • Funny isnt it Sherwulfe, the more i get to know so called sane people, the stronger is the urge to put as much distance between them and myself and family?

              “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

              Hamlet Act 2, scene 2,

          • “I see the anger. And I get it. But what I wish I could tell people is that it’s worth the discomfort, it’s worth listening, and that we’re stronger, not weaker, because of it.”
            Zachary R. Wood
            ‘Why it’s worth listening to people you disagree with’ – TED talk 2018

  5. “Talking into a mirror exercises the jaws but not the brain.”

    Ham-it-up, Act 1.

    Martin F Collyer

    • Is that your reflection talking again martin?
      Convex or concave? I guess it depends on which side you are on?

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