Co-ordinator Bob Street, of Coal Aston and Dronfield Against Fracking, revealed Derbyshire County Council’s planning services has confirmed INEOS has not done any on-site work, or met any of the necessary pre-conditions or had any contact with the council within a three-year deadline for the earmarked development at Bramleymoor Lane
Following a public inquiry in August, 2016, a planning inspector had granted planning permission to petrochemicals giant INEOS for them to carry out exploratory drilling at
a site near Marsh Lane village with a view to starting full-scale fracking for shale gas but the condition attached was that work must commence within three years.
The Government also temporarily halted fracking in England with immediate effect in a watershed moment for environmentalists and community activists in November, 2019, after a scientific study warned it was not possible to rule out “unacceptable” consequences for those living near fracking sites which has no doubt had a bearing on INEOS’s plans.
Mr Street said: “We have finally beaten off the threat of this dirty, polluting and highly disruptive industry from blighting the communities of Dronfield, Coal Aston, Marsh Lane and
"This is a landmark victory for all those who have put so much work into opposing the fracking plans, and those who have supported us over the past five years.”
Mr Street said the period has elapsed and a source at the county council’s planning services department confirmed to action groups Eckington Against Fracking and Coal Aston and Dronfield Against Fracking that they have had no contact with INEOS and that INEOS have not met any of the numerous other preconditions which were imposed or done any on-site work.
Also speaking on behalf of Eckington Aganst Fracking, Mr Street said: “INEOS were granted planning permission on condition they start work within three years, which they have failed to do.
“Furthermore, they are not allowed to apply to extend that time limit, so time’s up for INEOS.
"INEOS continue to hold the fracking licence for this area until 2024, but in the absence of any landowner consents for large-scale fracking operations, and in light of the Government’s moratorium on fracking and the fact that the issues of climate change and fossil fuel extraction are now such a political ‘hot potato’, it would seem unlikely that INEOS would be in a position to take advantage of that in the foreseeable future."
An INEOS spokesman confirmed there is a moratorium in the UK and no activity will be progressed as long as this remains in place.
A county council spokesman said: “Planning permission for a shale gas site at Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane, was granted three years ago, and has now expired. If the developer wishes to proceed then they will now need to submit a new full planning application.
“Our planning team have had no formal contact from INEOS regarding this site since the appeal decision was issued.”
Fracking involves gas extraction whereby water and chemicals are injected at high pressure into shale rock thousands of metres below ground.
Opponents claim the technology is unsafe and causes pollution, traffic, noise and ecological damage.