The first steps that could lead to fracking in Bassetlaw have been taken with permission to drill the county’s first exploratory shale gas well expected to be granted this month.
INEOS was given the green light to drill at a former Cold War missile launch site off Springs Road, Misson, by Nottinghamshire County Council in November last year.
The planning approval was initially delayed because of an intervention from campaigners, who said the decision could impact on the area’s wildlife.
But pending the completion of a Section 106 agreement, which requires a designated route for all heavy goods vehicles servicing the site, the plans are on track for full legal consent by the end of February.
While Nottinghamshire County insist that “no hydraulic fracturing, or fracking” is included as part of the development, opponents believe the move could potentially lead to fracking in the future.
David Larder, chairman of Bassetlaw Against Fracking, said: “All they will do is up sticks and create other wells and the countryside will be littered with them, as in many areas of the States.”
But INEOS say shale gas drilling would benefit the area due to a six per cent share of revenue, four per cent of which would go to home and landowners, and the creation of jobs.
The County Council has received a planning application for a similar proposal involving shale gas exploratory drilling from Dart Energy at a site off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth.