Planning application received for shale gas exploration in RotherhamPublished Friday, 16th June 2017
Oil and gas firm INEOS Shale has applied to Rotherham Council for planning permission for an exploratory well on an area of land in the south of the borough.
The planning application put forward for an area of privately−owned land off Common Road in Harthill, is the first of its kind for Rotherham.
INEOS is one of several companies licensed by the Oil and Gas Authority to extract gas from shale deep in the ground by hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' − the process of injecting water and chemicals at high pressure deep underground to create tiny cracks so the gas can flow up a well to the surface and be collected.
Rotherham Council’s Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment Damien Wilson said: "This is a planning application to carry out underground investigations − not fracking.
"As with any planning application and in our role as the mineral planning authority, we will carry out detailed consultation and find out what people think of the proposals. This includes local people and the organisations we have to consult by law.
"We have not received an application to carry out fracking. If and when we do, it would be a separate planning application and subject to a similar but separate detailed consultation with the public and other consultees."
The publicity period for the application and for people to make comments will run from 16 June to 21 July 2017 but no date has yet been set yet for the proposals to be considered by the Planning Board. Mr Wilson added that the Council was committed to making information available to the public every step of the way throughout the planning process.
“We will keep our website up-to-date with all the latest information,” he added.
Site notices highlighting how people can get involved and send in their comments about the proposals have been placed in the local press and posted in the Harthill area. The detail of the planning application (RB2017/0805) is also now available on the Council’s website – under "find and comment on a planning application".
As well as consulting with the public, the Council − in its role as the mineral planning authority − will consult with statutory consultees including other councils and national government departments and agencies.