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Exploratory shale gas drilling plan set for conclusion in late January

The legal agreement required for final planning consent to drill Nottinghamshire’s first exploratory shale gas wells is expected to be completed by the end of January 2017.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee approved plans by Island Gas Ltd to drill Nottinghamshire’s first exploratory shale gas wells, on land off Springs Road, Misson in Bassetlaw on 15 November. No hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is included as part of the development.

The approval was subject to the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement, which requires a designated route for all heavy goods vehicles servicing the site, that drivers adhere to a code of conduct and that the applicant is responsible for any highway damage caused by vehicles.
 
Other requirements of the legal agreement include the provision of a restoration bond, the setting up of a community liaison committee and the monitoring of water levels close to the site.

The original target date of 5 January has been moved back to allow more time to draw up the various elements of the draft agreement for consideration because of the delay in the committee being able to make its decision.

Once issued, the planning permission will also include 37 separate conditions to minimise the impacts of the development on the environment and local communities.

The development site – a former Cold War missile launch site - is around two miles north-east of Misson, close to the Nottinghamshire, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire local government boundary.

The application is for the development of a temporary well site, which would involve the drilling of two exploratory shale gas wells to explore the rock geology below the ground to find out if it is likely to contain shale gas.
 
Since first receiving the application in October 2015, extensive consultation was undertaken by the County Council, with more than 40 organisations providing feedback and 2,600 individual representations.

Nottinghamshire County Council has received a planning application for a similar proposal involving shale gas exploratory drilling from Dart Energy at a site off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth. Public consultation on this application closed in the summer. The application is likely to be considered by the Planning and Licensing Committee early in 2017.

To date, Nottinghamshire County Council has not received any planning applications involving hydraulic fracturing.