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County Councillors approve second site in Notts for exploratory shale gas drilling

Nottinghamshire County Councillors have approved Dart Energy’s planning application to drill an exploratory for shale gas well on land off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth.
The application was approved at the Planning and Licensing Committee meeting on Tuesday 21 March following a seven hour meeting.
The site is around 1.5km north-west of Barnby Moor and 3km south-east of Blyth and is currently open farm land. No hydraulic fracturing, known as ‘fracking’ will be carried out as part of the planning permission.
During the Planning and Licensing meeting, County Councillors heard from five organisations who presented their views about the planning application; Blyth Parish Council, Torworth Parish Council, Tinker Lane Community Group, Dart Energy and United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas.
County Councillors approved 52 planning conditions to restrict development at the site, including controls covering issues relating to traffic, lighting, noise and ecology.
Following presentations from community representatives, County Councillors agreed to extend proposed HGV restrictions on vehicles from the shale gas site using the main road past Blyth primary school by an additional 30 minutes during school drop off and pick up times. The change means that HGVs from the site will be prevented from driving past the primary school from 7.30 - 9am and from 3 - 4.30pm during weekdays.
County Councillors approved a similar application for exploratory shale gas drilling at Misson Springs in Bassetlaw in November 2016. That approval is now subject to the completion of a separate Section 106 legal agreement which includes:
  • a lorry routeing agreement from the site to the A1 to avoid residential areas
  • a driver code of conduct
  • a financial bond from Dart Energy which would be used to restore the site once works have been completed in the event that Dart Energy are unable to fulfil restoration requirements
  • retaining the existing community liaison group for the lifespan of the development.
Councillor John Wilkinson, Chair of the County Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee said: “I would like to thank the local residents and community groups who attended the meeting and explained to County Councillors their concerns about the development at site off Tinker Lane.
"A number of the concerns were about highway and traffic issues. Through debate and discussion during the meeting, we were able to address local people’s concerns and highlight the feedback from statutory consultees like Highways England and the County Council’s Highways which was used to support the recommendation to approve the planning application.
"County Councillors recognised the strength of feeling about lorries using roads close to the village primary school and agreed to extend the proposed HGV restriction on these roads by an extra hour each day during school drop off and pick up times.”
Extensive consultation was undertaken by the County Council, with more than 40 organisations providing feedback over an extended eight week consultation period.

Shale gas development is very tightly regulated in the UK and requires planning permission from the County Council, together with approvals, checks and permits from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority. 
Natural resources like coal, oil and gas have been exploited for many years in Nottinghamshire. Figures show that since 1939, 27% of the UK’s total number of onshore oil and gas wells have been drilled in Nottinghamshire (UKOOG). 350 onshore oil and gas wells have been drilled in the UK since 2000.
Seventeen sites at Beckingham, Bothamsall and Eakring are producing high quality oil for use in the plastics and chemical industries.
To date, Nottinghamshire County Council has received no planning applications for hydraulic fracturing in the county.