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Our position on the Marsh Lane application is finalised

Published: 4 May 2018

An urgent meeting of our planning sub-committee was held today (Friday 4 May 2018) to discuss our position on proposed underground drilling in the village of Marsh Lane.

The sub-committee, made up of three elected members from the full planning committee, met to discuss proposals by INEOS to erect a drilling rig up to 60 metres tall off Bramleymoor Lane and drill around 2,400 metres below the ground.

Members were asked to reconsider objections put forward by the planning committee in February to the application because independent experts that we'd appointed had not found sufficient evidence to back up the argument that traffic from the development would have an unacceptable impact on local roads and road safety.

But the sub-committee voted by two to one to continue with a case on traffic grounds as well as:

  • harm to the open nature of the Green Belt
  • unacceptable night-time noise.

INEOS wants to carry out drilling to investigate the suitability of the rock for 'fracking', which is the process of injecting water and chemicals at high pressure into rocks deep underground to create tiny cracks so shale gas can flow up a well to the surface and be collected.

Following an appeal by INEOS, a public inquiry will be held from 19 June to decide the planning application, with the final decision whether or not to grant planning permission being taken by a Planning Inspector on behalf of the Government.

We must present our position to the Planning Inspector in writing so that it can be taken into account as part of the public inquiry process.

Today’s meeting was held at short notice to meet the inquiry deadlines.

Read more about the planning application.