Fracking campaigners warn company behind Derbyshire plans: "We are ready"

Campaigners awaiting the next stage of fracking plans in Derbyshire have warned the company behind the proposals: “We are ready.”

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 9:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 10:18 am
Fracking campaigners on the march through Eckington, north Derbyshire.

Industry giant Ineos has been granted permission to drill for shale gas reserves on land off Bramley Moor Lane, Marsh Lane, near Eckington, following a public inquiry last year.

If the tests are successful then it could lead to fracking taking place at the site.

But members of Eckington Against Fracking, a campaign group fighting the plans, have warned Ineos that they will not be giving up.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Marsh Lane, the village in north Derbyshire where Ineos has submitted drilling plans.

Chairman of the group, David Kesteven, said they are remaining positive after similar plans in Lancashire by company Cuadrilla were halted following an earthquake with a magnitude of 1.5 was recorded by the British Geological Survey.

Any tremor measuring 0.5 or above means fracking must be temporarily stopped while tests are carried out.

He said: “We are hoping that Ineos will not bother with building a well at Marsh Lane because obviously it is a failing industry. We are hoping that they abandon the plans but if they don’t we are ready for them. We will always be peaceful and respectful of the law but if we get 1,000 people in the road they cannot get a truck through.”

The plans for the Marsh Lane site were first submitted two years ago.

Chairman of Eckington Against Fracking, David Kesteven.

Since then there have been numerous meetings and protest marches before Ineos appealed to the Planning Inspectorate stating that Derbyshire County Council was taking too long to make a decision – something the authority denied.

Eckington Against Fracking is campaigning against the proposals stating impact on greenbelt land, highways and noise among many others.

The group was dealt a huge blow when the Planning Inspectorate approved the plans following an eight-day public inquiry in Chesterfield in August. Inspector, Elizabeth Hill, said at the time: “I have found that there would be slight harm in terms of the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers, in terms of night-time noise, to which I give limited weight.

“However, this would not outweigh the benefits of the exploration in terms of its potential to improve resources for energy supplies to which I give substantial weight.”

Derbyshire County Council said it has received no update from Ineos regarding the plans.

Ineos said it had no update to provide at this stage.