Communities take action against government plans to fast-track fracking

181010 Beis action Let Communities Decide

Projected message onto government department in central London, 10 October 2018. Photo: Frack Off London

Opponents of government proposals to change the planning rules for shale gas developments have been taking part in protest events across England this week. 

The Let Communities Decide week has been coordinated to raise awareness of a public consultation on the proposals, which ends on 25 October 2018.

The government has proposed to count non-fracking shale gas sites as permitted development. This would mean companies would not need to apply for planning permission.

Another proposal is to classify major shale gas production as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. This would mean decisions would be made by a government minister, rather than the local authority.

DrillOrDrop has been collecting photos and reports from this week’s events. Please let us know about any events from your area. We’ll update this post with new events.

Last updated 14/10/2018

Hebden Bridge street theatre – 14 October

Campaigners against fracking in Hebden Bridge brought a model fracking rig into the town and took part in street theatre and leafleting.

Sheffield Global Frackdown Carnival – 13 October

181013 Sheffield anti-fracking carnival Stephanie Jane 1

Global Frackdown Carnival in Sheffield city centre, 13 October 2018. Photo: Stephanie Mullen

Hundreds of opponents of fracking from Yorkshire and the East Midlands took part in a rally in Sheffield city centre. DrillOrDrop report

Frack Free Parade in Totnes – 13 October

Campaigners in Devon took part in a parade through Totnes, carrying a model drilling rig. Video by Richard Down.

Oxford – 13 October

The Oxford Mail reports residents and university students mocked up a pretend fracking company with a 4m fracking rig, in Radcliffe Square.

Norwich – 13 October

The Eastern Daily Press reports on a rally in Norwich city centre on government proposed changes to shale gas planning rules.

Lincolnshire Tory opposes government proposals – 12 October

181010 Brigg Julie Field

Anti-fracking campaigners gather outside Andrew Percy’s constituency office in Brigg, 12 October 2018. Photo: Julie Field

Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, Andrew Percy, told anti-fracking campaigners he opposed the government proposals on permitted development and the NSIP regime for shale gas.

The group, wearing gags, took part in a protest outside Mr Percy’s constituency in Brigg. He said he would raise the issue with ministers and would vote against if it came to a vote.

Frack Free Isle member Andrew McLeod (pictured third left) said,

“We are delighted that Mr Percy took the time to speak to us and that he shares our concerns about this loss of local democracy.  There is clearly a momentum building up among Conservative MPs against these unwelcome proposals.  We hope that the Government will listen to them and drop their plans.”

Capacity Ryedale meeting – 11 October

181011 Malton meeting FFU1

Audience at the meeting in Malton on government shale gas planning rules, 11 October 2018. Photo: Frack Free United

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake confirmed at a packed meeting in Ryedale that he would oppose the government’s proposals if it meant planning rules on shale gas sites were relaxed. Full DrillOrDrop report

Projected messages – 10 October

Frack Off London projected its messages on the front of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in central London.

181010 Beis action Let Communities Decide2

Projected message onto government department, 10 October 2018. Photo: Frack Off London

Gagging order – 9 October

Campaigners in East Yorkshire wore gags at their protest outside county hall in Beverley. They said the government’s proposals would gag local communities.

181009 Frack Free East Yorkshire protest in Beverley

Protest by Frack Free East Yorkshire outside County Hall in Beverley, 9 October 2018. Photo: Frack Free East Yorkshire

Grandparent protest – 9 October

Grandparents for a Safe Environment staged a protest at Bristol City Council. The group had previously taken part in a sit-down protest at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in June 2018.

Model installation – 8 October

Frack Off London installed a model shale gas rig outside Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in central London. More details


Protest outside the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy over government plans to fast-track fracking, 8 October 2018. Photo: H L Agrosdidier

Open letter – 8 October

Heads of 20 environmental organisations wrote an open letter, published in the Daily Telegraph, opposing the proposals. More details

181008 Telegraph environmental sector letter

15 replies »

  1. Sorry DoD, no sign of anything in my patch, and no sign of anything in the media that I have viewed/read this week.

    I think I must have been too absorbed and shocked researching a new energy supplier for when my current contract expires.

      • Most people use mobiles now sher, keep up…

        40% of the components in a mobile phone are from oil and gas

        At least 45% of the charge in the mobile is from electricity produced from Gas

        Are you ready for Frack Friday sher???

      • The only uses they have for phone boxes Sherwulfe is the hold their annual general meetings in (space still available) and as a toilet when no-ones back yard is available?

  2. ‘phone boxes?? Too alternative for me. Thought they were only used for contact cards these days, and super heroes doing a quick change? I shall keep my underwear inside my trousers.

  3. Meetings, Sherwulfe?

    No. Waste of time having meetings. A comfort blanket for the chattering classes, for each to claim they are more virtuous than the rest. Doers get on with doing.

    Meanwhile, according to Ofgem, 70k people “self-disconnected” from pre payment meters for electricity and 80k for gas during the last year as they could not afford to pay. Whilst some meet to discuss how to raise their costs even further. All pretty virtuous.

    • Martin Collyer:

      “Meanwhile, according to Ofgem, 70k people “self-disconnected” from pre payment meters for electricity and 80k for gas during the last year as they could not afford to pay. Whilst some meet to discuss how to raise their costs even further. All pretty virtuous.”

      DO they frack in Texas?
      Yes, but in 2017, “more than 900,000 homes went dark in Texas last summer because of unpaid bills, almost triple the number 10 years ago.”

      Do they frack in California?
      Yes, but in 2016, power disconnections were up 64% in five years, despite fracking, to “714,000, the most on record.”

      Do they frack in Ohio?
      Yes, but more than 314,000 customers were cut off “in the 12 months ended in May 2016, an 84 percent increase from 10 years ago.”

      Do they frack in Pennsylvania?
      Yes, but “electricity terminations doubled in 2008 and have risen since. The state tallied 220,000 in 2015”.

      Do they frack in America?
      Yes, but despite that, “the number of people unable to pay their bills has risen dramatically”.

  4. Martin, surely you are not suggesting that a tiny bubble of gas will help prevent people from being disconnected by their supplier. Fracked gas from England will be the same price as gas from elsewhere. It is an open market commodity. If anything, it is likely to be more expensive. £66m spend at Preston New Road for zero gas so far.

    The onshore industry has previously confirmed that fracked gas will not be cheaper.

    In the most optimistic scenario (from a ‘pro’ point of view) fracked gas would only represent a minuscule proportion of our national requirements. In fact it will be much less than the so-called gas from Russia, which is about 0.5%.

    England’s shale gas contribution will be on par with giving £20 to The Chancellor of The Exchequer to help pay off our Nation Debt. No discernible difference at all.

  5. Ratings agency Fitch is very cool about fracking in England (courtesy The Telegraph).

    “The burgeoning shale gas sector will remain shackled by strong opposition to fracking despite a fresh Government push to support onshore fossil fuel producers, ratings agency Fitch has warned.

    The recent flurry of support from Government ministers could in fact strengthen grass-roots opposition to further drilling projects, Fitch added.”

    Fitch can see whats happening.

    Shackled it shall remain too. So much cash worldwide has been divested from oil and gas over the past few years. The likes of Turd Energy are having to take very expensive loans, which they may struggle to maintain or repay.

  6. What is the premium currently being added to energy bills due to “alternative” measures, Waffle???? Is that something that people don’t know about? If you want to have no empathy with those people who find that a real problem, that is your choice but don’t try and dress it up as something it isn’t.

    Yes, that can be subsidised by the tax payer but first of all you need competitive industry to generate the tax to be able to do that. Maybe Cuadrilla-one day-can be in that category: but not for a long time as certain parties have decided to increase their development costs so it will be a long time before they can do their bit.

    Careful about Fitch. Check what happened in Aviva yesterday. They were the green goddess according to Sherwulfe. Now fallen from her throne.

    You may like to ignore the world energy requirement is increasing fast, and whilst alternative will also increase so will more traditional forms. $31 BILLION invested in Canada announced, probably another $200 BILLION required in the near future to keep pace with demand for LNG.

  7. Lock the Gates

    And in USA they have the Donald!

    What the heck has that to with the UK or your silly tabulation?

    But as a result no one noticed that the UK premium was something that needed avoiding?

    Oh yes they did.

  8. Hi Ruth,

    I am on your regular distribution list as an active opponent of fracking.

    I recently wrote to my local MP Paul Beresford urging to re-consider the fast- tracking of shale gas extraction exploration permission.

    Predictable he said that , “It is still local councillors who will be the ultimate arbitrators of whether permission to frack is granted (subject to appeal), that vital has not been violated”. Obviously this is a contradiction in terms and I would like to provide him with the evidence that shows how local decisions have been overturned at appeal.

    Ruth, do you have any post or report that you might point me to where this has happened. I believe that there were some 30,000 ? letters of opposition to Preston road, and the council turned it down but it was still passed at appeal,

    Many thanks

    Steve McDonald
    Dorking Surrey (nr Leith Hill)

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