Saturday, May 20, 2017

Part 1 : INEOS Pre-Fracking Application To Derbyshire County Council

INEOS have a planning application in front of the Derbyshire County Council, initially for a  hydrocarbon exploratory core well on land adjacent to Bramleymoor Lane near Marsh Lane in North Derbyshire. By itself such exploratory work could lead to serious local problems. The proposed initial rig intended for operating horizontal explorations for shale gas, could be up to 86% the height of Chesterfield's Crooked Spire - dominating surrounding areas and lit up. Then there would be large numbers of huge tankers going in and out of the proposed INEOS site along Eckington Road and onto the restricted facilities of Dyche Lane at Coal Aston.  A clear source of danger and disruption.

Yet the current application by INEOS is just the tip of the iceberg. They would not be spending massive amounts of time, resources and specialisms on this initial application if they did not already hold strong evidence indicating that their efforts will lead them on to seek to obtain further planning permissions for highly problematic underground horizontal fracking operations. In one of their publications they state that when it comes to such horizontal operations these could operate for 2,000 metres (i.e. around a mile and a quarter). We need to remember that whenever they start their horizontal underground work, it will fan out in numbers of differing directions. Furthermore in the USA (where INEOS have close connections with their fracking businesses) a distance of three miles has been reached horizontally underground by one operator. 

The application which INEOS have submitted to the Derbyshire County Council can be found by clicking here. 

Unfortunately, there are a couple of defects on the County's site. When I attempt to click into the first item they show, it does not work for me. There are then a further eight items to link into. But the County Council have placed these in a jumbled-up order - differing from the order shown on the eight available documents from INEOS.

In following blog items, I will deal with these items in the order given to them by INEOS.

These are (1) - "Application Document, Covering Letter".  This is three pages long. (But has to be checked in case it was really longer). 

(2) "Application Form Checklist" - 38 pages.

(3) "Our Proposals Explained" - 9 pages (and something of a propaganda sheet).

(4) "The Proposal" - 42 pages.

(5) "Application Drawings" - 24 pages covering 22 items.

(6) "Planning Statement" - 114 pages.

(7) "Environmental Report" - 445 pages (I kid you not).

(8) Statement of Community Involvement (trying to show how much we all love INEOS !)

The question arises of how fully our County Councillors will be aware of the wide ranging nature of INEOS's submissions. I can't really see them studying all of INEOS's total of 731 pages and then having them checked out by looking at alternative sources. Yet sometimes INEOS's evidence can actually be used against them - as with the map at the end of this first item.


As a starter (before turning to the above battling order), I give below the central section of a map displayed by INEOS on page 45 of item (6) as listed above. That is the County Council's page number. The INEOS document numbers it page 40. . My thanks go to "Sarah KayBee" on the "Eckington Against Fracking" Facebook Site for providing a connection to the map when my technology failed me.

23rd May 2017 - NOTE and ALTERATION: What appears below is a correction to what initially appeared here. I am grateful to the Coal Authority (whom I have been in contact with) for telling me of my error.  I mistakenly claimed that the Coal Authority Interative Map was the source of the map below. But as invaluable as the Interative Map is, the map below was actually taken by INEOS from another of the Coal Authority's key sources - this source is now linked to in the text of the revised paragraphs below. It covers - "Development Risk Plans, Specific Risk Plans and Surface Coal Resource Plans for Coalfield Local Planning Authorities"

The map is taken from the following Coal Authority Source, where you can search for your own immediate locality to see if falls under the above heading - see here.

Below Ineos have added a red rectangle to a map selected from the above Coal Authority's material which shows their proposed area of operation off Bramleymoor Lane and they have acknowledged the Coal Authority as being the source, via -

Via black crosses (and small black circles) this Coal Authority's Map shows potential "at risk" areas which have measures such as past or remaining coal stocks where great care should be taken over any future underground developments.

This folowing map (from the above link) only shows certain areas of North East Derbyshire. The uncovered surrounding white sections are not clear of such problems. They just happen to fall in different areas and are on different maps. 
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