The first steps that could lead to fracking in Nottinghamshire will be signed off by the end of February, says a local authority.
Nottinghamshire County Council say a legal agreement required for final planning consent to drill Notts’ first exploratory shale gas wells is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
No hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is included as part of this development but could lead to it in the future.
Plans were approved by the Planning and Licensing Committee in November 2016 for Island Gas Ltd to drill on land off Springs Road, Misson in Bassetlaw.
The planning approval was delayed because of an intervention from campaigners who said the decision could impact on wildlife and the environment.
Earlier this year, an FOI request made by Friends of the Earth revealed that there has been correspondence between international chemical company INEOS and the Forestry Commission about fracking in Sherwood Forest.
INEOS are planning to carry out ‘seismic surveys’ in certain Nottinghamshire sites, including Sherwood Forest which left residents and campaigners concerned about the developments.
Speaking just after the meeting where drilling in Misson was accepted in November, Councillor John Wilkinson, chairman of the committee, said: “We are grateful to all the members of public and groups who responded to the consultation and gave evidence to the committee.
“Ultimately, the committee concluded that the applicant was able to effectively demonstrate how they could address the planning issues within the council’s jurisdiction, such as traffic, noise and access, opening hours, the impact on residential areas and wildlife, flooding, heritage and archaeology.
“Shale gas development is very tightly regulated in the UK and requires planning permission from the council, together with approvals, checks and permits from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority.”
The development site, a former Cold War missile launch site, is around two miles north-east of Misson, close to the Nottinghamshire, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire borders.
The application is for a temporary well, including the drilling of two exploratory shale gas wells to explore rock below the ground to find out if it is likely to contain shale gas.