Blyth residents could face fracking after a request to carry out a ‘scoping request’ near the village was submitted to Notts County Council by Island Gas Energy.
The scoping request is for a site at Tinker Lane, on the A634 between Blyth and Barnby Moor. The 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 which would need to be submitted as part of a future planning application to undertake shale gas development. Island Gas has already undertaken limited site investigations, including seismic land survey, at the site.
Sally Gill, planning manager from Nottinghamshire County Council, said the authority intended to ‘robustly review’ the scoping request.
She added: “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 it decided to undertake additional investigations at the site, including shale gas appraisal or extraction.”
Bassetlaw Against Fracking’s chairman David Larder has branded the scoping request a ‘devious surprise’.
He said: “None of the nearby householders as far as I know have had an inkling of what was coming. Even when queries were made to the security staff that suddenly appeared at the site, they were not told anything. To spring a potentially huge operation onto tiny communities like this is a disgrace. We will study their intentions carefully because this could lead to a major fracking site - blighting property values, and bringing considerable increases in noise in the area as well as large traffic movements.”