LETTER: Move by INEOS shows contempt

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We are writing on behalf of three local groups regarding INEOS’ call to take the planning decision for drilling at Bramleymoor Lane out of the hands of Derbyshire County Council (DCC), which it says has subjected the process to ‘unreasonable delays’.

INEOS argues that it believes a decision was unlikely in the short term and ‘because of the unreasonable delays, we have been left without an option if there is to be progress on these important projects.’

The application has taken longer than might otherwise be expected because of the exceptionally large number of submissions, apparently around 5,000, some of which are complex reports. It is the council’s statutory duty to record, read and take into account each and every submission.

The council has recently extended the deadline for responses until today, December 7, but only because INEOS lodged further submissions to the council as recently as October 2, which DCC needs to take into consideration and invite responses.

For INEOS to now say that these delays have been ‘unreasonable’ is, in our view, disingenuous in the extreme.

INEOS has said that: “We cannot wait indefinitely for these local decisions.”

The company won’t have to wait ‘indefinitely’, DCC has said that it expects to arrive at a decision in the New Year.

It also said that the “consultation process has always prioritised local people”. Only on November 15, representatives from the Coal Aston/Dronfield and Eckington Against Fracking groups met with three senior INEOS representatives for more than two hours. INEOS gave no indication that it might even consider appealing to the planning inspectorate.

INEOS’ continuous assertions that it consults with local communities ‘at every stage’ of the process hold no water in our opinion.

INEOS states that “because of the unreasonable delays we have been left without an option”. This is patently false. DCC has been following the correct planning procedures throughout and it continue to do so. Progress is being made and INEOS must accept the due process. Anything less would be undemocratic.

We feel INEOS is showing a total and utter contempt for all the communities, residents and inhabitants of the areas which they have earmarked with what we think are rapacious plans to industrialise our homelands.

Bob Street

Coal Aston & Dronfield Against Fracking

David Kesteven

Eckington Against Fracking

Louis Powell

Apperknowle, Hundall & 
Unstone Against Fracking