Opposition to Doncaster fracking plans

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Plans to bid for permission to explore fracking possibilities in a rural area of Doncaster have been met with opposition.

British onshore oil and gas explorer and producer IGas has announced it intends to apply for planning permission to carry out ‘exploratory’ digging in the Springs Road area of Misson Springs.

The company confirmed if planning permission is granted a well will be drilled to evaluate the shale and gas potential.

IGas has also stated that other sites in the area may also be considered in the future – but added it may not necessarily carry out fracking in Misson Springs.

But according to a survey carried out by Frack Free South Yorkshire in the nearby communities, 80 per cent of people questioned are opposed to fracking in the area.

David Burley, of Frack Free South Yorkshire, told The Star: “People here simply do not want fracking.

“I think there will be a lot of opposition from people in the area.

“Fracking releases methane into the air, which contributes to pollution levels and global warming.

“Drilling uses a lot of water, and would negatively effect the South Yorkshire water supply. We know from America that there are reports of many harmful effects from fracking and the UK is more densely populated with worse geology, so it could be even more harmful here.

“I just hope what residents want is listened to.”

A spokesman for IGas said: “IGas is in the very early stages of this proposed development but it is important to point out that as part of the planning process, we will hold many consultation events and provide as much information as possible to local people.

“The exploration will be done initially by drilling a vertical exploration well to evaluate the geology and shale potential at this location. If successful, a horizontal well will then be drilled immediately to assess the lateral extent of the shale column. At this stage a further planning application would be made for approval to hydraulically fracture the horizontal section and test the flow of gas.”

The proposed site also borders Bassetlaw and Bassetlaw MP John Mann said: “Decisions on fracking should not be made by national Government. If local people say that they do not want fracking on a particular site they should have the right to make that decision.”

Shadow Energy Secretary and Don Valley MP Caroline Flint said she has already asked developers about what vehicles will take to and from the proposed site.

She added: “I support shale gas extraction only with strict controls. Any residents who want more information, can email my office or ring and I will keep them advised as soon as more information becomes public.

“We have tabled amendments. Among them are measures to protect Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to ensure Environment Agency permission for substances used in hydraulic fracturing, to ensure that water companies have statutory rights of consultation, and to prevent extraction in Groundwater Protection Zones, that is, near aquifers.

“We also want to see 12 months of assessments, known as ‘baseline monitoring’ to ensure that the full impact can be accurately assessed during the planning process. I am determined that ground water and environmental protection is not put second in this process.”