Villagers seek funds to challenge Harthill shale gas approval


180125 Harthill site visit Paul Rowland 6

Lorry route to Ineos site at Harthill, 25 January 2018. Photo: Paul Rowland

Residents have raised half the money they need to begin a legal challenge against the approval of shale gas drilling in the South Yorkshire village of Harthill.

Earlier this month, a government-appointed inspector granted planning permission to Ineos to drill and test an exploration well on land off Common Road. This followed an eight-day public inquiry in Rotherham in April and May 2018. DrillOrDrop page on Harthill public inquiry

Now residents are seeking to challenge that decision through a judicial review. The local campaign group said:

“Harthill Against Fracking have to raise an additional £10,000 for legal fees to appeal against the recent decision by the Planning Inspectorate. We need everyone’s help. Please donate, however big or small and we can continue the fight.”

Harthill Against Fracking

The group is raising money through pledges and donations to an online crowd-funder. At the time of writing, the website had raised more than £1,100 in four days.

Deborah Gibson, of Harthill Against Fracking, told DrillOrDrop:

“We are half way to the initial £10,000 we need to start the judicial review process and will continue to fundraise for the remainder if we have permission from the courts to proceed.”

Harthill Against Fracking (HAF) and individual residents had argued at the inquiry that it had been disadvantaged by the lack of public consultation on revised traffic plans proposed by Ineos. The proposals included more than 20 additional passing places on the lorry route to the site and the use of Stop-Go boards on two sections of road.

HAF asked for a four-week adjournment. The inspector, Stephen Roscoe, ruled that the new traffic plans were not a significant amendment to the scheme. He gave local people several days to consider the new proposals.

10 replies »

  1. Well done Harthill Against Fracking, you have my support, this shows just how fixed the present system is that the only way we can fight these corporate invasions is to stump up the cash ourselves.
    All the best and keep on fighting these government sanctioned overturning of the democratic process.

  2. The UK needs gas, 8 out of 1o homes are heated by gas and 20% of our electricity is produced by gas. Gas is used to produce electricity to back up intermitant wind & solar. Gas produces less CO2 than coal. We should not have to import gas from Russia and Qatar, we can be self sufficient. Back fracking and the UK.

    • sigh VB; another apprentice with nothing better to do- is this sound bite part of your contract?

      • Hi, Sherwulfe, I wish I was still an apprentice, but 50 years of working in the electrical and automaton industries have tought me to seek out the facts. Wind turbines and solar will never meet our energy demand,because they can not provide a steady base load. Gas is needed to provide this, also due to the planned closure of coal and some old nuclear power stations the demand for gas will grow. Best regards. VB

  3. It was wrong of the judge not to allow sufficient time for the local community to review INEOS’s extensive changes to the traffic plan – which were probably deliberately put in at the last minute to mess with the appeal process – particularly given that those working within the local community to oppose this plan will all be doing this in their own time around full-time jobs, families, etc.
    Please support the JR by donating on the link above.

    • It’s a sign of our return to the feudal system [or did it never go away?] that people of this island have to go to court and spend their hard earned cash fighting colonial induced industries that feel it their right and privilege to walk over the indigenous population; and that the pretend democratic governance say no to all households stomping up just 10p a week to have a clean energy option. The fund so far raised by 33 people have averaged out at £40 each, – that could have been 7 years contribution by those 33 households to the Swansea tidal lagoon.

  4. You will have to fund the lagoon all by yourself Sherwulfe. Money to be made. I can see the film:

    “Swampies from the Swansea Lagoon”.
    Poldark on the Cornish cliffs, shirtless, repelling the Welsh invaders from blowing up his neighbourhood. Scything them down.

    Should be a revenue stream, even better than a book.

    • So come on Martin, take the ten point challenge; you know you want to. Number 9 would be of most interest to you?

      Stop sidelining and contribute some evidence so we can have a proper debate and tell us how shale gas extraction in the UK:
      1. Will be economically viable
      2. Will provide energy security
      3. Is not for plastic
      4. Will replace clean renewable energy production
      5. Won’t cause seismic activity
      6. Won’t pollute ground water
      7. Won’t cause property devaluation
      8. Will stop imports of gas from conflict areas
      9. Is supported by the majority of the UK
      10. Will be better than renewables at slowing climate change

      Don’t forget, 100% ‘leaves no doubt’ evidence, peer reviewed preferably.

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