FRACKING: New application to start shale gas drilling in Notts

An artist impression of the Tinker Lane site in operation, by Bassetlaw against Fracking

An artist impression of the Tinker Lane site in operation, by Bassetlaw against Fracking

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A new planning application to explore for shale gas in Nottinghamshire has emerged while campaigners struggle to fight off energy companies.

The fresh application marks the second location that energy companies are targeting to exploit for 'fracking' - the controversial process of pumping water and chemicals underground to loosen rock and release natural gas.

Dart Energy equipment placed at Tinker Lane, near Blythe.

Dart Energy equipment placed at Tinker Lane, near Blythe.

Nottinghamshire County Council announced the arrival of a second application, made by Dart Energy (East England) Ltd to undertake shale gas exploration at Tinker Lane, off the A643 between Blyth and Barnby Moor in North Nottinghamshire.

The application is currently going through the validation process, and officers said they have asked the application to provide further information before it is taken any further.

The applicant, which is a subsidiary of IGas, has 21 days to comply, and then the application will go to public consultation before it is put before a Planning and Licensing Committee reading.

It follows a similar application made by IGas at Springs Road, to the north-east of Misson in Bassetlaw which is now in consultation after the council asked for more information, and now the County Council’s Development Management Team are preparing a report on the application to be considered by members of the committee.

Planned area showing surface level and sub-surface level activity planned at Springs Lane, Misson.

Planned area showing surface level and sub-surface level activity planned at Springs Lane, Misson.

On this latest application, a council source said: "Whilst the planning application submitted includes information relating to each of the relevant national and local requirements, a number of issues have been identified which require further clarification.

"The Council has asked the applicants to provide this information before the application can be validated."

IGas has also submitted a separate application for 12 groundwater monitoring boreholes in relation to the Springs Road site which was approved in January and since then the law has changed, no longer requiring companies to apply for permission to drill monitoring boreholes.

The application for the Misson site says IGas aims to "develop a hydrocarbon wellsite and drill up to two exploratory hydrocarbon wells (one vertically and one horizontally) by use of a drilling rig together with associated ancillary works. After the wells are drilled, the wells will be suspended while assessment of the results takes place."

The licence areas already released, many of which have been taken up by companies - a further round of licence areas is awaiting validation.

The licence areas already released, many of which have been taken up by companies - a further round of licence areas is awaiting validation.

Contractor DrilCorp Ltd has already moved equipment onto the site - an old Ministry of Defence facility now owned by L Jackson & Co, which sells ex-military equipment.