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Island Gas submits scoping request to County Council for new possible shale gas site

Island Gas Plc has submitted a scoping request to Nottinghamshire County Council for comment and consideration as part of possible plans to undertake shale gas development in the county.

The scoping request is in respect of a site at Tinker Lane, the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth. The County Council dealt with a separate scoping request from Island Gas on a site north-east of Misson earlier this year.

The submission marks the firm’s first steps towards preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which would need to be submitted as part of a future planning application to undertake shale gas development in Nottinghamshire.

The scoping request sets out the environmental issues Island Gas considers it needs to include as part of any future planning application. Nottinghamshire County Council has five weeks to comment on the scoping request.

The County Council will review the scoping request carefully to assess the environmental issues the firm intends to include in its Environmental Impact Assessment. The County Council will be looking for Island Gas to include a range of information, including details about how it will:

  • Safeguard local water resources and  wildlife habitats
  • Ensure safe access to and from the site for vehicles and other highway issues
  • Manage noise from the site
  • Restore the site.

The County Council will provide Island Gas with a scoping opinion response.

If the company 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 a scoping request could mark the first of many steps towards Island Gas submitting a full planning application for exploration of the Tinker Lane site.

"We intend to robustly review the scoping request. The detail of our response will inform the basis of the firm’s Environmental Impact Assessment which will be submitted if and when they decide to submit a planning application.

"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 exploration. 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 separate 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.”

The County Council will consult statutory organisations, including Bassetlaw District Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency in drawing up its scoping opinion.