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Council receives first planning application for shale gas exploration in Notts

The first planning application for shale gas exploration in Nottinghamshire has been submitted to the County Council.

Island Gas Limited (IGas) is seeking planning permission to undertake exploration for shale gas on land off Springs Road, to the north east of Misson in Bassetlaw, which is close to the Nottinghamshire, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire local government boundary.

The application is for the development of a shale gas well site which would involve the drilling of two exploratory shale gas wells (one vertically and one horizontally) together with ancillary works.

Permission is sought for a temporary period of up to three years, with drilling taking place for approximately 14 weeks for the vertical well and 19 weeks for the horizontal well.  During drilling, operations would take place 24 hours a day. At other times, works would take place between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday and 7am and 1pm on Saturdays, with no working on Sundays or Bank holidays.

The vertical well would be drilled to a depth of approximately 3,500 metres and, subject to the results of the vertical well, a second well may be drilled, initially vertically before being directed horizontally in a southerly direction within one of the potentially productive horizons. At its peak there would be an average of 18 HGV and 10 light vehicles visiting the site per day.

IGas is applying to carry out test drilling to check the suitability of the rock for shale gas extraction.

The application does not include any proposals for hydraulic fracturing, known as ‘fracking’.

The County Council will now begin detailed consultation work on the application, seeking the views of over 40 organisations, including statutory consultees, neighbouring local authorities and landowners, County Council departments, national Government departments and agencies and wildlife organisations.

Letters will be sent to nearby residents and notices posted in the local area highlighting how they can get involved and register their comments about the proposals.

Sally Gill, Planning Manager for Nottinghamshire County Council says: “IGas is seeking permission to explore for shale gas on this site, which would involve test drilling at Springs Road, to the north-east of Misson. The application does not include any proposal to carry out fracking.

“If permission is granted, the test drilling would allow IGas to evaluate the potential resource of shale gas trapped beneath the surface. Depending on the results of the test drilling, IGas may, or may not, seek permission to extract the shale gas using fracking, but that would require a separate planning application which would be subject to further consultation.”

A copy of the planning application is available to view on the County Council’s website. Comments about the application can be made by visiting the County Council’s planning website or by emailing development.management@nottscc.gov.uk or by writing to Nottinghamshire County Council, Development Management, County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7QP.

The deadline for responses to the consultation is 9 December 2015..

For further information about shale gas development, including the role of other regulatory bodies and the issues the County Council can take into account when determining the application, go to www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/shalegas

To keep up-to-date with the latest information about planning and shale gas development in Nottinghamshire, you can sign up to the County Council’s email subscription service at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/emailme (select the Planning newsletter).