Plans for fracking investigations voted down by Derbyshire councillors

Planning committee members at Derbyshire County Council have voted against a plan by  INEOS to investigate the possibility of drilling for shale gas at Marsh Lane.

The committee voted by a majority of nine to one to reject the recommendation of council planning officers that an application by INEOS would be acceptable if strict planning controls are put in place.

The application will now be decided through an appeal which includes a public inquiry starting on 19 June 2018.

INEOS wants to erect a drilling rig up to 60 metres tall and drill around 2,400m below the ground off Bramleymoor Lane, in the village of Marsh Lane, to investigate the suitability of the rock for  fracking.

The proposals are to carry out underground investigations only, not fracking. The appeal was started by INEOS in December because it was not prepared to allow more time for the Council to make a decision on its planning application.

The report presented to the planning committee of 10 county councillors recommended that the development being considered under the appeal would be viewed by the council as acceptable if strict planning controls relating to dust, ecology, the impact on roads and traffic, archaeology, lighting, and noise are put in place.

Before voting the committee members listened to the views of around 20 residents and interested groups at a public meeting at County Hall attended by more than 150 people.

The Council’s position will be presented to the planning inspector to be taken into account when deciding whether or not to grant planning permission for development on Bramleymoor Lane.