Video: John Blaymires chief operating officer of IGas
Plans have been approved to drill to explore for shale gas in a second part of Nottinghamshire, in a move which could lead on to fracking.
Nottinghamshire County Council approved a planning application on Tuesday (March 21) to for energy firm Igas to drill on land off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth, in an area known as Tinker Lane.
No hydraulic fracturing, known as ‘fracking’, will be carried out as part of the planning permission, but if the right conditions are found the company could submit a new application to start the process.
Campaigners who opposed the plans said they were ‘beyond disappointed’ with the decision, and said they will fight on.
The site is currently open farm land.
John Blaymires, chief operating officer of IGas, said the next step is to see whether the gas is there and is commercially viable.
“What sits under this part of the East Midlands is a large volume of potential gas resources that could lead to jobs, employment, sustainability and, ultimately, energy security,” he said.
The application was approved at a seven-hour planning and licensing committee and councillors heard to views of five organisations: Blyth Parish Council, Torworth Parish Council, Tinker Lane Community Group, Dart Energy and United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas.
Councillors approved 52 planning conditions to restrict development at the site, covering issues relating to traffic, lighting, noise and ecology.
Councillors approved a similar application for exploratory shale gas drilling at Misson Springs, also in Bassetlaw, last November.
Cllr John Wilkinson, chair of the planning committee, said: “I would like to thank the local residents and community groups who attended the meeting and explained to county councillors their concerns about the development at site off Tinker Lane.
“County councillors recognised the strength of feeling about lorries using roads close to the village primary school and agreed to extend the proposed HGV restriction on these roads by an extra hour each day during school drop off and pick up times.”
Frack Free Nottinghamshire, a group which has opposed the Tinker Lane and Misson Springs applications, said in a statement on their website: “We are beyond disappointed by the decision of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning Committee to approve the application by Dart Energy for exploratory drilling at the Tinker Lane site in Bassetlaw.
“This is the second approval in Bassetlaw, forming the start of an industrial gas field. This approval is despite overwhelming local opposition to the application, with 99.5 per cent of those consulted by Nottinghamshire County Council being opposed to the application.”