Labour call on Nottinghamshire County Council to ban fracking

County Labour group leader Councillor Alan Rhodes is aiming to protect areas like Sherwood Forest from fracking.
County Labour group leader Councillor Alan Rhodes is aiming to protect areas like Sherwood Forest from fracking.

The leader of the opposition has called on Nottinghamshire County Council to refuse any exploratory drilling or fracking on land which it owns.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, who represents Worksop North, believes the Conservative administration should be doing more to ensure the county’s heritage, landscape and communities are protected.

He said: “The natural beauty of Nottinghamshire, the protection of wildlife and the health of residents should be the county council’s priority, and they should be saying loud and clear ‘not on our land’.

“Historic and iconic areas such as Sherwood Forest and Rufford Country Park, home to many species of animals, birds and insects, and many people nearby too.”

Two exploratory drilling applications by IGas at Misson and Tinker Lane in Bassetlaw have been legally approved, with work likely to start at the end of this month.

That process was given initial consent by a cross-party vote of councillors las year.

A second drilling company, INEOS, have been conducting seismic surveys near Shirebrook, Warsop, Holbeck, Worksop and Shireoaks since June, suggesting new applications could be in the pipeline.

Coun Rhodes’ appears to be setting out a new toughened stance on fracking, echoing recent statements from the party’s national leadership.

He added: “We are calling on the council to refuse to allow any exploratory drilling, seismic testing or fracking on land they own or control.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We are yet to receive any planning applications for shale gas development from INEOS. Any application would be examined through the established planning and legal processes and judged on its merits.”