A second council is recommending dropping traffic concerns as a reason for opposing Ineos shale gas plans, within weeks of a public inquiry.
Derbyshire County Council announced this afternoon it would be asking its planning sub committee to reconsider the highway objection to the Ineos application at the village of Marsh Lane.
An urgent meeting of the committee will be held tomorrow afternoon, six weeks before the inquiry opens in Chesterfield.
Last month, council officers in Rotherham recommended the planning board dropped its highway safety opposition to the Ineos scheme at Harthill. The board voted against the recommendation and the Harthill inquiry, which closed today, saw detailed discussion of Ineos proposals for passing places, stop-go boards and convoys.
At Marsh Lane, Ineos wants to use a 60m rig to drill a 2,400m vertical well on land off Bramleymoor Lane. The company has said the purpose was to collect rock cores which would help it decide the best place to frack for shale gas. The current application does not include fracking.
Derbyshire councillors voted in February to oppose the scheme on three grounds:
- Harm to the openness of the green belt
- Negative impacts on traffic across the road network
- Unacceptable night-time noise
As at Harthill, Ineos had already appealed to the Planning Inspectorate over what the company said were unacceptable delays in deciding the application.
A press statement from Derbyshire County Council today said the council’s independent traffic consultants had found insufficient evidence to support the opposition on highway grounds.
Officers are recommending the council should not argue this point at the two-week inquiry, which begins on Tuesday 19 June.
The final decision on the scheme, as at Harthill, will be made by a government-appointed inspector.
The sub committee meeting meets at 3pm tomorrow (Friday 4 May) at county hall in Matlock.