Many local residents are rightly concerned regarding the proposed commencement of fracking activities off Bramleymoor Lane, near Marsh Lane in the constituency.
Fracking is a new technology for the United Kingdom and has not yet been successfully used at scale in this country. The proposals from Ineos are to undertake, initially, exploratory works which, if successful, would eventually lead to fracking at Bramleymoor Lane. The activities would take place on agricultural land and would see the erection of a 60m rig which would drill to around 2,400m into the ground.
As your Member of Parliament, I have consistently opposed this application and hugely regret the decision to grant approval for exploratory drilling at the site. The strength of feeling amongst local residents against these proposals is clear and unambiguous: they are rightly concerned regarding the potential impact on the area, the detrimental effect of increased lorries and HGVs on local roads, among a number of other reasons.
Status of the Exploratory Drilling Planning Application
The application for exploratory drilling was determined by the Planning Inspector in mid August. The application was, sadly, approved. This means that Ineos can drill to assess how much gas is under Bramleymoor Lane. Ineos have not yet provided a timeline for when they will be doing this despite my asking them for one repeatedly. It is unlikely to now happen in 2019.
Despite the approval, I remain of the view that the application is inappropriate for Bramleymoor Lane. You can find out more details why from my original objection, a copy of which can be found below. A pdf copy can be found below. I have also placed a copy of it on my blog - click on "Lee's Blog" in the menu above.
Westminster Hall Debate on Marsh Lane
In November 2017, I held a debate in Parliament on this application to highlight why I thought Bramleymoor Lane was a completely inappropriate place to frack. You can watch the debate here: www.parliamentlive.tv/…/7a1d4fd7-c9f3-4f48-b7c0-0e4a9e25d1ce (scroll to 1600).
Proposals to loosening the planning rules around fracking
In mid 2018, the Government came forward with proposals to loosen the planning rules around fracking in order to speed up the process. The Government has proposed two changes; firstly that exploratory drilling can be undertaken via the existing Permitted Development process which makes decisions based on a quicker process than a normal planning application. Secondly, the Government has proposed that planning applications for full scale fracking are determined via the national infrastructure regime rather than through local planning authorities (in our case Derbyshire County Council).
I completely oppose these changes and am lobbying Government to not take them forward, along with a number of other colleagues.
In September 2018, I held a debate in Parliament on the proposals by the Government (which I oppose) to allow fracking to be approved by the permitted development and "Nationally Significant Infrastructure Programme" routes. These would effectively take local people out of the planning process for fracking. You can watch the debate here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/20e6bdbf-d3c3-4861-a54e-fd4e2fa10212?in=11:00:20. I also spoke in a subsequent debate held by one of my colleagues, Mark Menzies Conservative MP for Flyde, where I made similar points. You can watch the debate here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/4042d81b-9ca3-4c0e-b485-6b9aa3bfd…S16:57:50&out=17:00:00.
I have also attached the responses I submitted to the recent consultations on these plans. We now await the Governments decision; in the meantime, I am continuing to make the case in Westminster that these should not go ahead.
Seismic / earthquake rules around fracking
In March 2019, I introduced a 10-minute rule bill into the House of Commons which would preclude any changes to the rules around earthquakes and seismic events when fracking. The fracking industry, having previously signed up to certain limits on earthquakes and seismic events, have spent much of 2019 trying to get the limits lifted and made less restrictive. I strongly oppose such proposals; the fracking companies should stick to their original promises. You can see more here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/c548efd1-b788-4b5f-86b2-28cf1ad19….
Get In Touch
If you are a local resident and would like to discuss this more, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Background Information
There are two very active community groups in our area who work tirelessly to stop fracking: Eckington Against Fracking (https://www.eckingtonagainstfracking.com/) and Coal Aston & Dronfield Against Fracking (https://dronfieldagainstfracking.org/).
You can find details of what Ineos is proposing to do here: http://www.ineos.com/businesses/ineos-shale/our-operations/.
Derbyshire County Council also have extensive information regarding fracking: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/environment/planning/planning_policy/mine….
|Lee Rowley - Fracking Objection.pdf||2.51 MB|
|Permitted Development Consultation response.pdf||1.42 MB|
|NSIP Consultation response.pdf||1.1 MB|