IGas appeals against Ellesmere Port planning refusal

Ellesmere Port petition hand-in Frack Free Dee

Hand-in of petition against the Ellesmere Port planning application in January 2018. Photo: Frack Free Dee

IGas has confirmed that it has lodged an appeal against the refusal of its plans to test a well in Ellesmere Port.

Chester West and Chester Council rejected the scheme for the Portside North site in January 2018, despite a recommendation by planners to approve.

More than 2,200 people objected to the plans. Opponents said there should have been an environmental impact assessment and a groundwater permit. They were also concerned about air pollution, the impact on wildlife and other local industries, water contamination, seismic events and the level of consultation carried out by IGas.

The deadline for the appeal was yesterday.

In a brief statement to investors, IGas said:

“IGas today announces that it has now lodged an appeal against the decision made by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee, on 25th January 2018, to refuse planning consent for routine tests on a rock formation encountered in the Ellesmere Port-1 well, drilled in late 2014.”

Ellesmere Port Portside well site

Portside North well site (marked in red) at Ellesmere Port. Source: IGas planning application

The company proposed to used acidisation to stimulate gas production from the Pentre Chert rock formation.

At the time of the planning application, IGas said it was not seeking to frack and that the Pentre Chert was not shale.

But the council’s planning committee decided the application  did not comply with local planning policy.

This required oil and gas applications to address climate change and make the best of opportunities for renewable energy.

180125 CWAC IGas meeting Phil McCann

Opponents applauding the decision to refuse in January 2018. Photo: Phil McCann

At the time of the refusal, local councillor, Matt Bryan said he hoped IGas would “respect local democracy and not appeal”.

Today he said:

“Residents and the Council have said no to this highly damaging and unnecessary industry. It’s not the first time IGas have shown their contempt and disregard for our communities and we are fully prepared to continue the fight.”

The Portside North well was drilled in November-December 2014. The original planning permission referred to coal bed methane exploration but the well was drilled 1,000m below the coal measures. IGas said it had complied with the planning permission. (DrillOrDrop reports here and here)

  • DrillOrDrop is seeking other reaction to today’s announcement and this report will be updated as we get it.

DrillorDrop live updates from the January 2018 planning meeting

Reaction to the refusal of planning consent in January 2018

6 replies »

  1. With a corrupt Government, one can only hope that Counsels are not tarred with the same brush!

  2. “Chester West and Chester Council rejected the scheme for the Portside North site in January 2018, despite a recommendation by planners to approve.”

    Oh dear, more Council Tax down the drain and into legal pockets. And I-Gas win the appeal.

  3. The rejection of IGas’ Application in January 2018 was correct, lawful and democratic. I was at that meeting. IGas simply failed to provide a strong case and on the day also failed to address the concerns of the decision makers when presented with the opportunity. They spoke for only 2 or 3 minutes out of their allocated time of something like 15 minutes. They left with their heads bowed and tails between their legs. They will have to be a lot more convincing this time around.

  4. You pre-empt the Appeal there Waffle. They will decide whether it was correct.

    I can quote a Planning Application in at the moment where the Council wishes to have an access road to a major housing development exiting right opposite a large school. It will be lawful and democratic process, will be taken to Appeal, and will be decided as incorrect. Happens all the time, because Councils use the system to delay.

  5. I’d have thought there’d be a halt to any fracking while we’re going into water shortages. We’re already dealing with fires. So who will be held responsible?

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