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Council requests more information on shale gas exploration application

Nottinghamshire County Council has requested further information about a planning application to carry out exploratory drilling for shale gas in North Nottinghamshire.

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.

More than 2,000 responses were received during public consultation on the application. Now the Council has written to IGas to seek further information on a range of matters, following issues raised in the consultation.

The additional information requested by the County Council, includes further details on:

  • Site selection and sequential testing
  • Surface water run-off
  • Ecology
  • Traffic and transportation
  • Unexploded ordnance
  • Landscape and visual impact

A further period of public consultation will take place following receipt of the additional information.

Sally Gill, Planning Manager for Nottinghamshire County Council says: “It’s perfectly normal for the County Council to request further information from an applicant as part of the planning process, especially in the case of a complex application like this one.

“This process provides the applicant with an opportunity to address any concerns raised and provide additional information, not included in the initial application, which answers questions raised during the consultation.  The further period of public consultation will allow members of the public and technical consultees the opportunity to comment on this additional information once it has been submitted.”

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 sought the views of over 40 organisations during the initial consultation period between 28 October and 23 December. These included statutory consultees, neighbouring local authorities and landowners, County Council departments, national Government departments and agencies and wildlife organisations.

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

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,  is available at 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).