Power plans spark concern in village

NDET 16-10-12 RKH 2 Calow residents protest at the planned gas drilling on Dark Lane.

NDET 16-10-12 RKH 2 Calow residents protest at the planned gas drilling on Dark Lane.

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Campaigning residents are rallying against controversial plans to drill for gas in a Derbyshire village.

Seven Star Natural Gas Limited is seeking planning permission to carry out the extraction on land off Dark Lane, Calow, to generate electricity for up to 5,000 homes.

The firm has defended its proposals after nearly 150 residents aired fears at a packed public meeting.

Villager Catherine Winter said: “I’ve not been sleeping since I found out about these plans.

“There’s a lot of concern in Calow at the moment.”

Peter Rawson, who sits on Calow Parish Council, said: “We shouldn’t have to put up with this – we feel like a dumping ground.

“People are worried about a number of things including noise and air pollution and subsidence.

“We really fear these proposals will affect the quality of life in this area.”

Mr Rawson added that scores of villagers had signed a petition and set up a campaign group against the contentious plans.

“I’d say nearly 100 per cent of local residents don’t want this development on our doorstep,” he said.

Neil O’Brien, chief executive at Alkane, the parent company of Seven Star Natural Gas Limited, defended the proposals.

He said: “The plans have been produced with a view to minimising the impact on the local community and include sympathetic landscaping and planting.

“We have a strong track record of successfully drilling for and extracting gas with minimal impact.”

Derbyshire County Council – which will decide whether or not to approve planning consent – is holding a public consultation on the proposals.

To comment on the plans, visit www.bit.ly/TXALNF by Friday.

For more information about the campaign group, log on to www.calowdevelopment.net78.net.