Bassetlaw: Anti-fracking groups stage protest after new plans submitted

The Misson Community Action Group held a 'free frack parade' from Bawtry to Misson on Sunday 31st May
The Misson Community Action Group held a 'free frack parade' from Bawtry to Misson on Sunday 31st May

Anti-fracking groups staged a protest march at the weekend after an energy company submitted plans to drill for shale gas at a new site in Bassetlaw.

IGas Energy has submitted a scoping request to Notts County Council for an alternative site for exploratory shale gas drilling.

The new site is located off Springs Road, to the north-east of Misson in Bassetlaw, approximately 200 metres to the north-east of the previously considered site.

In response, anti-fracking groups held a ‘Frack Free Parade’ from Bawtry to Misson on Sunday 31st May which was attended by Bassetlaw MP John Mann.

Sally Gill, planning manager from Notts County Council, said: “IGas Energy has decided that a nearby, alternative site is more suitable than the site they originally requested the scoping opinion on earlier this year.”

“As such, the EIA scoping process is being undertaken for the alternative site. As with the previous scoping request submitted by IGas, it is the first of many steps towards IGas Energy submitting a full planning application for shale gas exploration at this new site.”

IGas submitted the original scoping request in late January and, following consultation, the county council issued its scoping opinion response in March, setting out the information IGas would need to cover in its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as part of any future planning application.

If the firm decides to submit a planning application, the development will involve exploration of the site using test drilling to check the suitability of the rock for shale gas extraction. No fracking would be undertaken as part of this application.

The authority has five-weeks to comment on the new scoping request which sets out the environmental issues IGas Energy will need to consider if they wish to submit a planning application.

Mrs Gill added: “We intend to robustly review the scoping request, to make sure that IGas has made every effort to safeguard the local environment.”

The Misson Community Action Group, in association with Bassetlaw Against Fracking, Frack Free Nottinghamshire, Frack Free Lincolnshire and Frack Free South Yorkshire held a ‘Frack Free Parade’ from Bawtry to Misson on Sunday 31st May.

A spokesman for Mission Community Action Group said: “The purpose of the parade was to raise awareness of the potential threat of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the area, to voice opposition and to enable the community to make a public statement.”