More Sheffield politicians condemn go-ahead for fracking exploration near city

The Bramley Moor Lane site where fracking company Ineos has been given permission to carry out test drilling

The decision to allow fracking exploration to begin just outside Sheffield has been condemned by more politicians within the city.

Ineos was given permission on Thursday to carry out test drilling on land off Bramley Moor Lane, Marsh Lane, near Eckington, just beyond Sheffield's borders, after appealing to the Planning Inspectorate.

Should the tests prove successful, the firm could apply for permission to start fracking for shale gas at the site.

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Sheffield's Labour council criticised the ruling on Thursday, branding it 'dangerous and reckless', and more politicians have since voiced their opposition.

Sheffield Liberal Democrats called fracking 'dangerous and short-sighted' and claimed the decision 'doesn't bode well for local democracy'.

The party's Mosborough ward councillor Gail Smith said: "My ward is just next to Eckington and I have consistently campaigned against fracking in the area.

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"Back in 2016, I ran a survey and had hundreds of responses. Around 87 per cent of people are against fracking.

"The fact that the Government can just force this through and ignore local people doesn’t bode well for local democracy.

"Fracking is dangerous and short-sighted. Not only have the affects of fracking in America been proven to be dangerous, it undermines our goal of using more renewable energy.

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"I will continue to stand up for local people and oppose fracking."

Louise Haigh, the Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, warned the decision would have 'serious consequences' for people living well beyond the Marsh Lane site.

"I'm appalled to see this decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate – we know that fracking is risky, destructive and unwanted in the community.

"Britain urgently needs to tackle the causes of climate change and invest in real renewable solutions to our energy supply, rather than simply finding more ways to extract dwindling supplies of fossil fuels.

"That’s why Labour has committed to end fracking nationwide and invest properly in sustainable, long-term sources of energy which will support vital jobs and apprenticeships.

"This is a decision with serious consequences well outside the Marsh Lane site – in particular, I'm concerned about the impact on constituents I represent in Batemoor and Jordanthorpe, who now face the prospect of extra noise, traffic and pollution along Bochum Parkway and Dyche Lane from traffic servicing the site.

She also warned about the costs of policing the site.

Fracking is where a mixture of water and chemicals is blasted deep into the ground to release shale gas.

Critics claim it will damage the environment but Ineos has said it could help meet the UK's energy demands.

Ineos had appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, arguing that Derbyshire County Council was taking too long to make a decision - an accusation the authority denied.

Speaking after the announcement on Thursday, the firm's spokesman Joseph Wade said: "A fully-fledged shale industry can be a huge boost to the UK, providing jobs, investment and secure energy."

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