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 »

      • Findog
        Correct, there are other ways. Heating you home with electricity, coal, fuel oil is 50% more expensive than mains gas. LPG is 100% more expensive. Logs can be cheaper ( well, old pallets and foraged timber is cheapest ), but otherwise same or more expensive than coal if you buy logs.

        Good news if you are not connected to the gas grid is that energy saving measures are more cost effective, and you may be a bit more willing to turn down the thermostat.

        If you are lucky you have room for solar panels, wind turbines and so on, but capital cost is an issue.

        According to the National Efficiency Data Network Summary Analysis July 2017 we would ( amongs other things ) be all best living it flats.

        Plus if connected to the gas grid and using it, we use a lot more gas than electricity. Around 4 Times more gas than electricity. While this disparity is shrinking ( the report discusses why ) there is a way to go to achieve parity.

  1. While i’m at it, here is yesterdays video report from Ian R Crane reporting on the fact that there are no emergency procedures in place and such assurances that we do have appear to be secret and we are not allow to know what they are, or indeed if they even exist?

    ( )

    And just to prove that the UK do not have anything anywhere near gold standards these are the emergency procedure regulations set up in USA by the EPA ( Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) ) in 1986!! But we have nothing, nothing whatsoever in 2018, and what we do have, if anything, we are not even allowed to know about?

    Grenfell tower at least had regulations even if they were not adhered to? but to have none at all? That is simply criminally insane.

    • Speculative at best, disastrous at worst, lose lose desperation TW.
      Look at the Aliso Canyon Porter Ranch release if you want to know the volumes from even a small underground storage facility.
      Molecular absorption of gas, let alone CO2 will lead to the need to do so under high volume high pressure otherwise it will not be economically viable and the risk of blowout and massive releases will be far too dangerous for anything but small scale experimental purposes. The likelihood is that it will escape into fissures and cracks and may even fracture existing rocks, then it will escape into other strata, and react with them, particularly if they contain water, and that will escape to the surface and into lakes and rivers acidifying them, dead fish and wildlife poisoned water, sheer insanity, we are back to the fracking debacle again.

      What does CO2 and water produce?

      Carbon dioxide dissolves slightly in water to form a weak acid called carbonic acid, H2CO3: CO2 + H2O H2CO3
      Carbonic acid reacts slightly and reversibly in water to form a hydronium cation, H3O+, and the bicarbonate ion, HCO3-: H2CO3 + H2O HCO3- + H3O+ This chemical behavior explains why water, which normally has a neutral pH of 7 has an acidic pH of approximately 5.5 when it has been exposed to air. It also explains the burning/stinging sensation.

      Think of that on an enormous scale?

      Nice try, but no fracking cigar.

    • TW
      I think it’s more a production enhancing move than one which would result in any material capture of CO2.
      So not a win win for pro and antis. As it support fossil fuel extraction ( ie extends its economic life ) it would not be welcome by anti frackers.
      But interesting all the same.

  2. PS gasman, do frackers breathe clean air? Do frackers drink clean water? Do frackers eat clean food grown in a clean environment? Do frackers live in an environment that supports their life? Does any fracker live in or near Harthill where this fracking debacle will be imposed against the wishes of the people and the council?

    • Your myths of adverse consequences related to fracking are very close to being busted Phil. Game over for you lot fast approaching.

      • Ha! Ha! It aint over until the frack lady swings peeny! More wishful thinking? We never needed this fracking and associated avoidances of the word debacles, energy is free and has been for billions of years and as long as we orbit the sun.

        It is crass dumb ass ignorance not to concentrate on those free energy sources and it seems the fossil fuel fascists would rather frack every beautiful spot on the planet and poison and devastate the the local inhabitants and their entire ecology?

        My myths? Really? While your favoured industry is reduced to imposing its unwelcome and unwanted presence by stealth and legally imposed invasions and suppression of human rights and can only then do so by overturning any and all local objection by a complicit compromised central government, fracking and its associated avoidances of the word is about as welcome as an environmental protector in a fascist state?

        Such desperation?

        It is not my myths of this fracking fantasy peeny, while the fossil fuel industry is rapidly divested from in every major financial forum on the planet and renewable energy outstrips every attempt to entrap this country into more suicidal insanity, you still cling to such wish fulfilment illusions of fracking adequacy?

        Dear oh dear, the “adverse” for which read disastrous pollution and ecologically and planetary destructive consequences have been well established for many years and continue to be so, which is why fracking is banned in every country that has not sold its soul to the dying fossil fuel oiligarchs?

        But never mind, keep swinging away at those fast f. balls for your plunging ohandgee shares and hope those penny share yachts will not sail away without you.

        Here are some little home truths for your edification and enjoyment! Do try not to be too busted?

        ( )

        ( )

        Keep breathing the clean air? Keep drinking the clean water? Keep eating the clean food, grown in a clean environment and have a nice day!

        Ya’all come back now? Ya hear?

        Such fun!

        Always a pleasure!

  3. I thought this year we were going to see Anti Vanilla adding to their squad?

    Now having to bring back the retired! (Form was pretty poor before retirement. Not sure they will have the legs to stave off relegation.)

  4. It’s worth noting that ER procedures exist in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire for Hazardous chemical sites ( see COMAH Regs et al which apply across the UK). Indeed there is a council organisation devoted to this issue for the industry along the Humber.

    One only has to look up the Humber Local Resiliance Forum to find it.

    Other councils may not be as forthcoming it seems.

    However, if one believes there is no regulation in place to address hazardous sites, nor any to ensure sites have an ER plan and dovetail that into the local ( council run ) plan, then maybe speaking in a loud voice on U Tube makes it true? Or maybe if you repeat it often enough, someone will believe it?

    I doubt it does.

    But it would be good if Lancashire were a bit more forthcoming re what all this ER planning entails, maybe take a leaf out of the HEPS book.

    Or maybe the amount of hazardous material on site does not trip the COMAH requirement and other regulations apply. So next time you visit a petrol station or Caravan Site that sells gas ( or a chicken farm et al ), just wonder how these sites, with a greater hazardous inventory than a drill site, manage an emergancy, and do the public living next to them know what to do ( if indeed they need to do anything ).

  5. My first job working on a poultry site, the manager used to check the gas piping for leaks with his cigarette lighter! His “theory” was the pressure behind a leak would prevent anything untoward and his nose could stop him before he tried his check, if a long standing leak.

    He lived a long life, but I still found something to occupy me the other side of the farm whilst he was doing his checks.

    • I met a near retired gas engineer once who worked on the gas lights at Heathfield Station (long closed) in East Sussex which were fed by probably the first natural gas supply in the UK discovered by accident when methane formed at the bottom of a newly dug water well in 1896. Some entrepreneur capped off the well and fed the gas into the station. Basically he said gas leaks were detected by sticking your nose close to the suspect lamp or joint!

      • Shalewatcher & Martin
        Indeed! Prior to the availability of cheap gas detectors, that was the way the gas chaps detected leaks. Mind you ( outwith the East Sussex example noted ), Gas was from the Gas works, and did not need a stenching agent.

  6. Always going to progress that way, Gregoryyy. Balance moves as does support, and the two are entwined. Quite a good barometer, therefor.

    Interesting Ms. Bennett still appears. A bit sad, when someone is referred to as the “former”. Is she not actually employed any longer?

  7. Interesting strategy emerges, when any post is too volatile for the FFF (Fracking Fraternity Failures) they now use this swamper method of posting lots of irrelevant nonsense because it moves towards a new page on WordPress, which is a not quite random page trigger number.
    You will notice that certain prolific posters like to be top and bottom of every page.
    This is how it is done.
    Never answer posts, always post as a new thread, fill up the last page with irrelevant drivel (did you wonder why so much wasted space inconsequential rambling?) and the post something derogatory at the trigger point, if you trigger the right new page you will get a header post and that assumes no one will look at the previous page when browsing and effectively hides previous volatile posts.
    Now do you see how it works for prolific posters?
    It’s a strategy, nothing more.
    Have a good day and happy header hunting.

    • Phil C…..irrelevant drivel????

      Can’t wait for your weekly weekend drivel posting in the form of a song, or a poem…..or some other vague piece of compilation.

      Not that I have ever wasted my time reading whatever it is you post, but I always think to myself what a waste of space and inconsequential rambling…..I dare say I’m not the only non-related.

      • Whoops! Toys out of the pram again?

        Ha! Ha! Oh peeny! That old ID again? A blast from the past?

        Deary me? Did I touch one of those ever throbbing nerves again?

        Frackers don’t like the corporate PR fracking strategies being revealed do they?

        All this has done old thing is to prove my point, and this desperate diversion is just irate fury at the PR standard strategy being shown up for what it is.

        So this reverts to number one on the PR dark side list, a personal attack.

        I must have really hit the nail on the fracking head didn’t I?

        And the trouble is, it misfires big time, you have successfully shot yourself in your own foot yet again!

        If you don’t read what I post then you can’t know what’s in them can you?

        Ha! Ha! Oh dear me? So funny!

        You really don’t understand do you?

        Totalitarian literature poems and songs are somewhat frowned upon, but I have the entire planets wonderful literature to draw upon.
        We stand upon the shoulders of literary giants, only a fool would ignore such a magnificent legacy, but it seems frackers are still literally playing in the verbal toxic waste mud for inspiration?

        You could try Juvenal if you like? (where we get the word “juvenile” from) but he is mostly censored everywhere.

        There are other recent historical sources of course but they are also somewhat frowned upon as being a bit of a no no?

        Never mind peeny, nice try but no fracking cigar, unless its a plastic throwaway vape to add to the plastic waste in the oceans of course?

        I am sure I can come up with a poem or a song or some literature just for you to enjoy? Ahh gowan! You know you like it really?

        What strategy will you use now I wonder? No 2 on the list? Seems appropriate?

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