Reaction to Harthill planning approval

180125 Harthill site visit Paul Rowland 6

Site visit to Harthill, 25 January 2018. Photo: Paul Rowland

In a decision published today, the Planning Inspectorate has given the green light to Ineos to explore for Shale gas at a site in the village of Harthill in South Yorkshire.   DrillOrDrop report

The company had appealed for non-determination of its application by Rotherham Council. The council later voted to oppose the scheme at the public inquiry in April and May.

DrillOrDrop is compiling reaction to the decision.

Sir Kevin Barron

Sir Kevin Barron, MP
Rother Valley

“Very disappointed that Ineos have been granted planning permission for fracking in Harthill. I will continue to fight this decision as I still believe there are too many unanswered questions around fracking.”

Cllr Chris Read
Labour leader, Rotherham Borough Council

“It is disappointing that Government inspectors have granted planning permission for exploratory drilling in Harthill, going against thew view our democratically-elected planning board had taken.

“Ineos’ insulting decision to by-pass the Council’s planning process and take its application direct to central government should be of concern to everyone involved. Planning inspectors also allowed them to submit late evidence ahead of the public inquiry into this matter, which is doubly frustrating to me. Residents in the area must be wondering what chance they had when this is how the system works.”

Chris ReadCllr Dominic Beck
Member for Harthill, Rotherham Council

“Incredibly disappointed INEOS are given the go ahead to construct a Well Site in Harthill. Still very proud of and many others for fighting hard to protect our area. This won’t stop!!”

Deborah Gibson
Harthill Against Fracking

180424 Harthill 2

Opening day of the inquiry into Ineos shale gas plan for Harthill. Photo: DrillOrDrop

“Harthill fought hard throughout the public inquiry to prevent Ineos from drilling for shale gas. Having gained praise for our valiant efforts from the Planning Inspector and Ineos’s barrister, the decision still went in favour of Ineos.

“We are understandably disappointed that Stephen Roscoe followed the government’s directive to give ‘great weight’ to the further push for fossil fuels over any other planning concerns.

“The Inspector’s comments seem to suggest that politics, rather than environmental and social needs take precedence, and adds to our worries about local planning democracy counts for nothing.

“Personally my greatest fear, besides the wider implications of fracking in Britain as a whole, is for the safety of local road users who will now be subject to Ineos site vehicles using our roads when the question of who takes precedence to oncoming traffic is not yet settled. This has massive implications for the way Ineos might use their injunction against local people.”

Andy Tickle
Campaign to Protect Rural England
South Yorkshire


“We’re very disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate has allowed the appeal by INEOS to drill near Harthill, in Rotherham’s beautiful countryside. It’s a kick in the teeth for local campaigners and Rotherham Council, who understood the overwhelming view of the public that this development was neither wanted nor needed”

“We were pleased that the Inspector recognised the local impacts on landscape and ecology but are worried that the impacts of the construction traffic on local country lanes has been severely underestimated”

“We certainly do not agree that the Government’s desire to exploit this unsustainable energy source should mean that industrialising the countryside is acceptable”.

Natalie Bennett
Former leader of the Green Party


Natalie Bennett. Photo: DrillOrDrop

“Extremely disappointing news on #Harthill #fracking. Not here (I was at part of the planning inquiry & traffic complications are immense on narrow roads), not anywhere”

Andy GheorghiuAndy Gheorghiu
Policy Advisor, Food and Water Europe

“A very sad day for democracy! We must unite to fight #IneosVthePeople!”

  • DrillOrDrop invited Ineos Shale to comment on the inspector’s decision. This post will be updated with any response.


Breaking news report on DrillOrDrop

Ineos Harthill Appeal decision document

Updated to correct typo in quote by Sir Kevin Barron. “answered questions” should have read “unanswered questions”

Categories: Regulation

39 replies »

  1. Well, findog, been to any building sites recently?

    Think you will find the vast majority of new houses being built in the UK contain gas fuelled boilers for central heating. Yes, “alternatives” are available but builders and house purchasers are not following that route in the majority of cases. I wonder why.

    Well, no, I do not. A few like to tell the majority what they should do, and when they don’t do it they label them as stupid. However, the majority are frequently found to come to sensible, collective decisions. I think it is called democracy.

      • This is from the Permanent Peoples Tribunal and is very much worth watching. Shale Gas exploitation has severely damaged natural renewable energy development progress and has locked us into a linear truncated trend, rather than the exponential upward trend of renewables.
        Nothing less than energy stagnation and inertia instead of natural progress.
        Result: Disaster.

        Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Taken Place.
        By Professor Anthony Ingraffia

    • Does the sun not shine somewhere on the earth 50% of the time?

      Does the sun not shine in space all the time?

      Is visible light and infra red radiation only a tiny fraction of the available energy in space?

      Are the tides not flowing?

      Are the mid ocean geothermal vents not pouring out free heat all the time?

      Are there not places on the earth where the wind never stops?

      Are there not jet streams in the atmosphere flowing all the time?

      Are there not oceanic currents flowing all the time?

      Are there not anti cyclones curling off the equatorial regions all the time?

      Are the electromagnetic fields of the earth always in constant flux?

      Are there not electrical discharges from air to ground all the time (positive to negative)?

      Does the moon not provide two tidal surges per day?

      Does the rise and fall of tides not happen twice a day?

      Does electricity not flow with a metallic surface exposed to heat at one end and cold at the other (thermoelectric effect)?

      Is there not a positive charge to the atmosphere and a permanent negative charge on or below the earths surface?

      Are there no solar storms?

      Are any of these free energy sources too difficult or too expensive to harness and employ?

      What is holding back this intelligent use of the free energy sources all around us?

      Is it greed and fossil fuel inertia and political corruption and corporate control freakery?

      its time for the whole population of the earth to bury our differences and maybe gracefully if not insistently retire our divide and conquer politicians and our greed and personal profit motivated corporations, and at last get together with the entire worlds populations and solve these really simple free energy sources and maybe then we can emerge from this fossil fuel hegemony and at last begin to repair the damage of the last two centuries for our children and future generations.

      Or is that too big an ask?

        • Was that not clear TW? See Professor Anthony Ingraffia’s video above.

          Renewable energy sources are not intermittent if they are shared intelligently and fairly, the anti antis always concentrate on wind power the moment the wind dies down ignoring it when the wind blows, this is england, the wind blows somewhere here all the time. Present wind power generation is inefficient and is at least ten years old technology and has all ready been superseded by modern methods and quiet efficient non visible turbine blade toroidal systems. the wind always blows somewhere, the tide always flows around Britain, it is not rocket science to come to some reciprocal agreement is it?

          Battery technology is on the verge of a massive leap forwards with quantum systems and using the most common elements on the planet, heat exchangers and pumps, zero point energy advances, background energy systems are becoming possible. They all could have been available and invested into years ago, instead we have been forced down this last gas gasp of onshore unconventional fracking and everything else has been stifled in the rush for gas cash.

          And that goes for every other form of renewable energy resources, if we intelligently and reciprocally share resources, then we can return to trade that benefits everybody, not just a few jealous control freak governments and greedy corporate oiligarchs.

          What stands between the entire population of the earth getting together and solving these really very simple renewable resources is government inertia, political corruption and divide and conquer politics and the fossil fuel industries entirely disastrous diversion to onshore shale exploitation and that time energy and money should have been spent on renewable sources eight if not eighty years ago.

          Clear now?

      • You’ve just blown off more wind in your rambling statement than the U.K has experienced all week.

        Intermittent renewables???

        Are you doing your bit. Solar panels, ASHP, micro wind turbine, grey water harvesting system???

        Still flushing your toilet and washing your clothes with drinking water?

        Live what you preach then complain.

        I’m off Egypt right now away from my family developing a gas field that will supply LNG which will be shipped to the U.K this Winter to keep you and your family nice and warm, cooking your food and providing the majority of your electricity.

        I’ve also helped install Offshore wind turbines in U.K waters and am fully aware of the intermittent nature of them and the large subsidies the bill payer, that’s you and me pay. They are not financially or a constant supply viable…

        People against fossil fuels utilise them much more than they realise or are willing to admit.

        It is insulting to all oil and gas workers to read such ill informed nonsense from people who could not live without the product we provide.

        Renewable energy will take many decades to perfect and will be a different fit for each geographical location

        We as individuals can achieve a great deal by our choices which will come at a financial and lifestyle cost. The idea of complaining about things and still living a fossil fuel lifestyle is a juxtaposition that infuriates people. I have not seen a group of people living a fossil fuel free lifestyle in the U.K!
        Emma Thompson jetting in and saying no to British Gas then jetting off again is the epitome of the fossil fuel guzzling hypocrite…

        Show me a group of people living fossil fuel free and maybe people will take notice

        Until then please people think before taping your plastic keyboard and using electricity 51% supplied by gas today (1% supplied by wind turbines today) which is being fed through plastic wrapped copper in your walls

        Thank you…

        • Dear me? What a sorry tirade?

          Your industry has too many sacred cows Kish, and they are coughing up blood.

          This is fun!

          Such bile and venom from the usual suspects? Must be that time of the millennium?

          It’s far too easy to get you all excited isn’t it?

          More trembling nerve endings to the touch?

          What’s this gang up on Phil day?

          Careful you lot, or you will all blow a fuse?

          Don’t like being challenged do you?

          I must be close to the truth for such attacks to be levelled at little old me?

          Looks like you could drive a dozen wind generators all by yourselves with such rambling ineffectual drivel?

          Keep breathing clean air and drinking clean water, eating clean food grown in a clean land?

          Until of course fracking destroys all of that?

          And then we are all kaput of course.

          Does anyone care?

          Yes, I do, for my family and everyone’s family and I will say so whether you guys like it or not.

          Way to go. Keep on keeping on fracking until there is nothing left.

  2. All around the world where fracking has been mainly forced onto people living in and around identified extraction areas, air pollution, heavy traffic, unknown toxins pumped underground, water pollution, earthquake type underground movement’s have been reported to increase substantially.
    Fracking destroys land above and below, whatever it touches, where ever it’s allowed to go, nothing good will come from it.
    Local and regional democracy has just died with the announcement allowing fracking in Harthill, central dictatorship in the name of profit at any price seems to be the norm, a few make a profit whilst a lot pay the price. Fight fracking today or there may not be a tomorrow for our children, grandchildren or the very thing we call home, planet earth.

  3. Methane has just been discovered on Mars (with seasonal variation indicating some kind ‘living’ processes). The pro-frackers should sign up for a future there – they don’t appear interested in the future of this planet.

    • Phil P
      I am not sure I would sign up yet just for bio methane. Maybe if there was coal?
      But actually, there are no humans there, so maybe we should leave it alone. There would certainly be a lack of atmosphere in the bar on Mars.

      Plus, I am not sure that pro frackers are anti planet, although it may give comfort to some to think so.
      Maybe all pro abortionists are anti lifers and all pro lifers are anti women’s rights, but I expect it’s a tad more complex ( as an example ).

  4. Jolly good idea to do some fracking on Mars. Most of the antis are from another planet anyway, I’m sure they would welcome a return trip.

    • Maybe Mars was like the Earth and then the frackers invaded there too? What you see is the result. Ask Dr. McCoy?

      • The Earth will end up like Venus if the gas-heads get their way. It’s on the slippery slope now, as are the major glaciers of West Antarctica and Greenland.

Add a comment

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