A public inquiry into proposals to explore underground shale gas reserves near two Derbyshire villages will start tomorrow (Tuesday 19 June 2018).
The Planning Inspectorate will decide on behalf of the government whether to grant planning permission to oil and chemical firm INEOS to explore shale gas reserves on privately-owned land between the villages of Apperknowle and Marsh Lane.
INEOS had previously applied to Derbyshire County Council to erect a 60m drilling rig up and drill around 2.4km below the ground to investigate the suitability of the rock for fracking.
The planning application was originally submitted to the county council in May 2017. However, in December before the council had decided on the application, INEOS appealed to the Planning Inspectorate saying it could not continue to wait for a decision.
At a meeting in February, the council’s planning committee voted to reject the recommendation of council planning officers that the proposal by INEOS would be acceptable, arguing that the application should be rejected on traffic grounds as well as harm to the open nature of the Green Belt and unacceptable night-time noise.
Representatives for INEOS, Derbyshire County Council and Eckington Against Fracking will all address the inquiry, which is expected to last eight days.
INEOS has recenty won an appeal for exploratory drilling near Rotherham after a planning inspector ruled equipment could be installed for up to five years. It is also undertaking a legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s ban on fracking.