The exploratory drilling application at Tinker Lane between Barnby Moor and Blyth in North Notts is now “live”. It arrived on 12th May with the Planning Office of Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC).
Under current government guidelines Planning Officers have 16 weeks to process it. The 16 weeks from the 12th May will be Up on 1st September.
“However , It is highly unlikely that they will be able to validate the application, which will take about two weeks and then put it out for a public consultation period in order to meet an arbitrary September deadline set by the government”, said David Larder, Chair Bassetlaw Against Fracking. The same timetabling happened with the initial application from Island Gas for drilling at Misson Springs. County planners had to ask the company to accept an extension of the 16 week period .
David continued “Although, there is no way the application can be before a Planning Committee in July, it appears, in my view, that there will be consideration at the September County Planning Committee meeting of whether or not the whole area of Tinker Lane will be opened up for potential fracking if they are successful in their initial exploration.”
He pointed out that the company had already flouted Building Control Regulations since November of last year by putting two large office Portakabins, floodlighting, generators and fencing around the site at Tinker Lane. Local villagers protested to Bassetlaw District Council that no application had been made to place such infrastructure on a rented piece of land. This was met with a QCs legal opinion being sent to Bassetlaw District Council by Island Gas, which stated that they felt they had a perfect right to protect their property. Bassetlaw District Council were then forced to spend council taxpayers’ money to take another QC opinion. This backed the original view of BDC that Island Gas were breaking regulations.
David said “An engineer from the company told me that they were frightened that a camp would be set up in the field and prevent them from bringing on more equipment and drills. There has never been any threat of this nature to the company from our campaign group. We have acted in a completely peaceful way to make people aware of the dangers of fracking in the area.”
Bassetlaw District Council gave the company until May 10 to put a full application including all of the existing infrastructure already placed on the land to the Planning Committee at NCC.
“Of course they were two days late in meeting the deadline when there would have been enforcement”, added David. He concluded that it was essential now that the people in the three villages of Torworth, Barnby Moor and Blyth and started to fight back against the potential industrialisation of their beautiful area.