Company doesn’t rule out appealing against Calow gas plan rejection

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The boss of a company which hoped to drill for gas in a Derbyshire village has told of his disappointment after the plans were refused – and not ruled out lodging an appeal against the decision.

Severn Star Natural Gas Ltd (SSNG) wanted to carry out the extraction on land off Dark Lane, Calow, to generate electricity for 5,000 homes.

However, members of Derbyshire County Council’s planning committee scrapped the plans in light of public concern on Monday afternoon.

Neil O’Brien, SSNG chief executive, said: “We are naturally very disappointed that our planning application has not been granted permission.

“We will carefully consider our position over the next few weeks, reviewing the application so as to understand the reasoning behind the county council’s decision.

“We will review and consider the committee’s reasons for not granting our application and then decide whether to appeal the decision.

“The UK is facing an energy shortage over the coming years and it is important that the industry starts an investment programme which will ensure that the country’s power needs are met.”

The firm hoped to conduct the operation round-the-clock every day of the week for a period of up to 15 years.

Residents branded the proposals “catastrophic” for Calow and said the development would have created more noise and traffic and ruined the character of the village.

Committee room one at County Hall in Matlock was filled with cheers from protesters when the decision was announced.

Speaking after the outcome, Margi Senior, of campaign group Calow Against Gas Extraction, said: “We’re over the moon.

“We’ve been campaigning against these proposals for the last 22 months so we’re very pleased our concerns have been listened to.”

However, given SSNG could lodge an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, Margi said: “We’ve won the battle but now we’ll have to wait and see if we’ve won the war.”