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Council responds to shale gas development scoping request

Nottinghamshire County Council has responded to a scoping request relating to possible future plans to carry out shale gas exploration at a site in north Nottinghamshire.

The scoping request was submitted by Island Gas Ltd and is in respect of a site on the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth.

The County Council dealt with a separate scoping request from Island Gas Ltd on a site north-east of Misson earlier this year.

The Council's response sets out the information Island Gas Ltd would need to cover in its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), should it submit a planning application for shale gas exploration at the site in the future.

The Council has sought the views of more than 40 bodies in preparing its response, including statutory consultees, neighbouring local authorities, County Council departments, national Government departments and agencies and wildlife organisations.

In its response, the County Council has advised that any EIA submitted by Island Gas Ltd would need to include information about how it will:

  • safeguard local water resources and wild-life habitats
  • ensure safe access to and from the site for vehicles and other highway issues
  • manage noise from the site
  • restore the site.

If the firm decides to submit a planning application, the development will involve exploration of the site using test drilling to check the suitability of the rock for shale gas extraction. No hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’ would be undertaken as part of this application.

Sally Gill, Planning Manager from Nottinghamshire County Council says: "The submission of the scoping request marks a significant step towards a full planning application for exploration of the Tinker Lane site but provides no absolute certainty about if and when a planning application is ultimately submitted.

"We have robustly reviewed the scoping request, including seeking the views of more than 40 local and national departments and organisations, to make sure that Island Gas Ltd will be required to make every effort to safeguard the local environment if an application is ultimately submitted.

"If a planning application is submitted for shale gas development in the future, as the local planning authority our role will be to consider how suitable the site is for any shale gas testing, exploration or development. This will involve looking at how the proposals affect a range of issues such as wildlife, transport and water resources.

"The company will also have to secure approval from a range of other organisations including the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Energy and Climate Change to make sure the site will operate safely.

"Further separate planning applications would need to be submitted by the firm if they decided to undertake additional investigations at the site including shale gas appraisal or extraction."

Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on any proposal when and if a subsequent planning application is submitted by Island Gas Ltd.

Read the full Environmental Scoping Report and County Council response documents below.