Misson Springs Exploratory Drilling Planning Application: OBJECT
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This is the FIRST application for shale gas application in Nottinghamshire, IGas Energy are looking to explore for shale gas in the most northerly point of the county, Misson Springs. This lies on the border of South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. You can view the application documents on the Nottinghamshire County Council website – Application No ES/3379.
The planning application consists of 4 separate phases:
- Wellsite construction
- Drilling of up to two exploratory wells for hydrocarbons including potential shale gas (the first one vertical and the second one horizontal)
- Suspension of wells and assessment of drilling results
- Site decommissioning, well abandonment and restoration
If you haven’t objected yet, now’s your chance. If you have already objected, we urge you to write in again responding to the ‘Regulation 22’ information – see below.
How to object
To object you can do 1 of the following:
- Send your objections to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a letter to: Development Management, Nottinghamshire County Council, County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7QP. The letter must be signed and dated
Your letter or email must include:
- The Application Reference Number: ES/3379
- Your name, address and postcode (Objections without a postcode will not be considered)
Send in your objections by Tuesday 17th May 2016.
**UPDATE 1 MAY 2016**
IGas have responded to a Regulation 22 request by Notts County County asking for more information about their application. We have gone through these documents and have put together some points you can use to object to:
- IGas have failed to provide a proper explanation why it isn’t possible to drill in Flood Zone 2 before considering Flood Zone 3 (as required by Sequential Test). Instead they have balanced this issue against others, particularly to avoid using agricultural land and having to build a new access road.
- Although some additional detail from the 3D seismic testing has been given, they haven’t provided the data which would allow a proper assessment of their interpretation of the geological structure – which is what the County asked for.
- IGas has not provided details of the weighting given to different factors in choosing between different possible sites. They were asked for this specifically in relation to choosing a drilling site 130m from the SSSI while ruling out anything within 200m of residential or listed buildings. This would particularly affect how they have balanced impact on agricultural land with impact on the SSSI.
- On potential noise impact on breeding birds, IGas have not provided the explanation requested as to why no breeding bird surveys have been done. And IGas have not considered the impact of 24-7 lighting on breeding birds
- On nitrogen deposition, IGas suggest the modelling they have done is ‘unduly precautionary’ and also that vegetation on that side of the SSSI is more tolerant of nitrogen. They request a planning condition to control this – in other words it will be alright once they are drilling and if it isn’t they will then think about what could be done.
- IGas didn’t attempt to answer the question of how 24/7 lighting will impact on health
- IGas have said that the lorries will not ground on the roads, level crossings & bridges along the route, but this additional traffic will block the road. Currently there are roadworks happening on the roads both sides of the village and this is causing traffic nightmares for residents. With a large increase in traffic for the IGas exploratory drilling site, this will cause a huge number of problems for the residents.
- IGas have stated that any rain fallen on the site needs to be collected and tankered away due to potential contamination. There are questions and concerns about what impact this will have on the water level for the SSSI
We suggest you begin by saying that you are writing to object to the application, and add a couple of sentences about yourself, e.g. where you live, what you do for a living, what your interest is in the application, why you are concerned, your connection to Misson/Bassetlaw, etc.
If you live near the well-site, please state what it is about the application that you are concerned about, e.g. the impact on your village, traffic, the impact on local roads/landscape, effect and the local economy, etc. You could also say something about how worried you are about how this work will impact on your daily life.
If you live elsewhere in Bassetlaw, South Yorkshire or North Lincolnshire, you can mention the wider effects of fracking would have on the region, particularly on the effect extra traffic would have on the road system.
If you live in another part of the UK (or in another country) you can mention any connection you have with Bassetlaw, South Yorkshire or North Lincolnshire – for example, you might visit the area regularly on holiday, or because you have family or friends in the area. You can also consider the precedent this may set throughout the rest of the country should this be approved, and whether or not it would make you more or less likely to visit the area on holiday if the proposals are approved and developed.
Local knowledge and experience are very important when campaigning against a planning application. So if you have any experiences to relate regarding living near a gas well-site (such as noxious smells, previous disruption, a negative affect on your health, work going on outside permitted hours, or anything else that has had any impact on your daily life, no matter how large or small), please include this in your objection. This sort of information is vital to help the Planning Officer make his recommendation.
Also, if you have had any other direct experience or problems when dealing with IGas – for example, you have been to any of their consultations or talks, or have had any direct contact with the company and its employees, then please include this in your objection.
Equally important are any instances that have occurred where you have not been kept informed about the development of the site. Please include any documentation – e.g. emails, leaflets, photographs, etc. – that can back up your comments, as this sort of information is helpful for the Planning Officer to decide whether or not the company can be trusted to undertake the work that it has applied for.
If you have researched any of the many facts, or read any interesting reports on fracking, or can cite any practices or instances where fracking has harmed communities that has caused you concern, please include these in your objection too.
Please put the below into your own words – perhaps by rephrasing the points in your own way or using the information in the bullet points to form a paragraph. You can also change the order of the points if you prefer, or choose the ones that you feel most concerned about. You don’t have to include all the points, and please make additional points you feel would support your objection, as described above.
- The first point to mention is that the number of lorry movements have greatly increased from the initial scoping document that IGas submitted to the county council earlier this year
- There are to be 36 lorry movements a day during site construction and restoration, 12-16 during rig mobilisation and 10 during drilling
- This traffic will travel along country roads and using the B1396 and the A614 via Blaxton.
- This will result in increased noise pollution, air pollution from traffic fumes, vibration damage to homes and other buildings and damage to verges and pavements.
- There will be a greater risk of traffic accidents – children, pedestrians, cyclists and perhaps horse riders.
- In the IGas scoping document that IGas submitted to the county council, they stated the rig would be between 35 to 44 meters high. In the planning application the rig has been stated at a whopping 57 meters high. This is likely to have more impact to villages overlooking the area, such as Gringley on the Hill.
- Noise will carry across the area for many miles in all directions, disturbing people in neighbouring villages and properties.
- IGas have said they may use screening or acoustic enclosures but haven’t specified what harm this causes
NIGHT TIME DISTURBANCE
- Work will take place 24 hours a day
- The area will be subjected to excessive and unreasonable disturbance in what is a quiet part of the countryside.
- The bright lights from the site during darkness hours will be intrusive and disturbing to residents and wildlife.
EFFECT ON WILDLIFE
- The site is located next to the Misson Carr SSSI which has a fenland habitat dependent on a managed water level which could be affected. The habitats for wildlife and bird (including great crested newts and other rare or protected species, such bats and moths) may be severely disturbed by the light, noise and vibration.
- All wildlife will be adversely affected by light pollution, noise and vibration.
- Depending on the time of year, this can also cause problems with breeding and hibernation. Vibration will impact adversely on certain species such as owls and other small mammals.
- This disturbance to their habitat could lead to some species leaving the area permanently, which would affect the delicate ecological balance of the area.
- The Application should be asked to clarify its long-term plans for the well-site, including how many new wells are to be drilled and how much more fracking would be required.
- Toxic waste water containing NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) and dangerous chemicals in concentrated form (such as sulphuric acid) will be transported through countryside roads and stored on-site.
- Any accident where a spillage occurs could be extremely damaging to the environment.
- This presents an unacceptable risk to the local community, especially since the site is next to a SSSI.
GROUNDWATER POLLUTION RISKS
- The proposed drilling site is exceptionally close to an aquifer. Studies show that no guarantee can be given that it will not be contaminated from spills and leaks or at some time in the future. Once an aquifer is polluted it cannot be used again for drinking water or agriculture.
- The fracking process requires high volumes of water which has to be abstracted from local sources or tankered in. Each fracking operation uses approximately 750 tanker loads of clean water per well; the equivalent of 5–10 Olympic size swimming pools.
WASTE DISPOSAL CONCERNS
- The contaminated waste water from the fracking process has to be disposed of. This has to be brought out by road and wherever it goes it is toxic!
- In numerous locations where fracking has taken place earthquakes have occurred due to vibration and/or the lubrication of lines of weakness in the rocks. This further increases the risk of leakage of the fracking fluid.
AIR POLLUTION RISKS
- The exhaust emissions from HGV traffic, compressors and diesel generators will create increased air pollution near the site.
- These will expose wildlife, local people (and workers at the site) to substances that are harmful to health and increase their risk of developing serious health problems in the future.
JOBS AND TOURISM
- If fracking is allowed in Bassetlaw, it could threaten the jobs of thousands of hard-working people in the key local industries of tourism and agriculture.
- People will be less likely to come and visit the area if they feel that their peace and quiet will be compromised by fracking wells, their health is threatened by pollution, or that they will have to cope with large increases in HGV traffic on country roads.
- This is confirmed in the Draft DEFRA Report “Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts Paper”, which says: Fracking “may reduce the number of visitors and tourists in the rural area, with an associated reduction in spend in the local tourism economy.”
EFFECTS ON HOUSE PRICES
- The Draft DEFRA Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts Paper states that “House prices in close proximity to the drilling operations are likely to fall. There could be a 7% reduction in property values within one mile of an extraction site.”
- Who will compensate local residents if they suffer losses on their properties, or they are unable to sell their house because it is too close to the well-site?
EFFECT ON OTHER KEY RURAL ECONOMY IMPACTS
- If fracking is allowed in Bassetlaw, it will have a negative effect on other key industries in the area, threatening thousands of hard-working people’s jobs and livelihoods.
- This is confirmed in the government’s Draft DEFRA Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts Paper, which says “Shale gas may transform a previously pristine and quiet natural region, bringing increased industrialisation. As a result, rural economy business that rely on clean air, land and water and/or a tranquil environment may suffer losses from this change, such as agriculture, tourism, organic farming, hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.”
- If this application is approved, it may be harder for the Council to reject future fracking applications as a precedent will have been set.
- This could result in hundreds of fracking wells across Bassetlaw, South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
- There are now new PEDL licences all across Bassetlaw, South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, all of which could have multiple fracking sites.
- Shale gas is a fossil fuel and the UK urgently needs to reduce our CO2 emissions to combat climate change.
- A new fracking industry will lock us into using fossil fuels for decades to come, and also delay the move to clean renewable energy.
- The Council has a duty to take climate change into account when ruling on planning applications.
If there are other fracking-related issues you want to mention, then please do so, particularly any first-hand experience you have had of fracking, gas production or dealing with IGas, and any information on the dangers of fracking that you would like to share with the Planning Committee. The more personalised your objection is, the more powerful it will be.
And at the end of your objection, please remember to ask the County Council to reject the application.
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IT ALL STARTS WITH JUST ONE WELL …