Fracking looms over Bassetlaw as councillors meet to debate drilling deal in Misson

Anti-fracking campaigners at the Misson site.

Anti-fracking campaigners at the Misson site.

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Bassetlaw has moved a step closer to fracking following the announcement that councillors will meet to consider the district’s first planning application to drill for shale gas.

The application was submitted to Nottinghamshire County Council by Island Gas Limited, who are hoping to drill a former Cold War missile launch site off Springs Road in Misson, near Worksop.

The type of drilling rig that could be erected near Worksop if application is given the green light.

The type of drilling rig that could be erected near Worksop if application is given the green light.

There were 2,600 responses to a public consultation on the controversial plans, but the decision now lies in the hands of councillors who will debate at County Hall on Wednesday, October 5.

Sally Gill, planning manager for Nottinghamshire County Council, said planning officers had deemed the site “appropriate” for exploratory drilling.

She added: “Island Gas has been able to demonstrate how they intend to make sure that the effects of the drilling can be effectively managed to make sure they do not become unacceptable to the community.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has also 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 will be considered by the Planning and Licensing Committee in the future.

David Larder, chairman of Bassetlaw Against Fracking, said the group also opposes these plans and would be holding a demonstration outside County Hall before the meeting, urging councillors to “look at the bigger picture” by turning down all applications.

Mr Larder said: “There are real dangers to our water supply and public health for the people who live near fracking sites.

“It won’t stop with one well. It cannot, if it is to be economically viable, stop with one well .

“I appeal to the councillors to have courage and stop the frackers in their tracks.”

IGas bosses said that should the application be granted they would continue to drill wells “safely and responsibly”.

John Blaymires, chief operating officer at the company, said: “IGas is pleased that the planning officer has recommended that Nottinghamshire County Council grant planning consent for the application todrill up to two exploratory wells in Misson Springs.

“Within its application, and throughout NCC’s thorough assessment of it, IGas has addressed the wide range of questions, concerns and comments raised by NCC and consultees.

“This work is reflected in the planning officer’s report together with the planning conditions proposed.

“As part of its commitment to trasparent communications, IGas has undertaken extensive community engagement alongside this application including setting up a community liaison group which was convened in June 2014.

“IGas businesses have been drilling wells and producing oil and gas safely and in an environmentally responsible manner for over 30 years and we will continue to uphold the highest standards in the future.

“The Company will await the Councillors’ decision on this application on October 5.”

For further information on the application, go to www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/shalegas.