Fracking plans in Rotherham dismissed by Secretary of State

A planning appeal for a test drilling site in Woodsetts, Rotherham, has been dismissed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:27 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:33 pm

The application, for the construction of a well site to “drill and pressure transient test a vertical hydrocarbon exploratory core” at Dinnington Road, Woodsetts, was lodged in 2018 by INEOS Upstream.

A public inquiry was held in June 2019, after INEOS appealed to the national planning inspectorate to overturn RMBC’s decision.

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The application, for the construction of a well site to "drill and pressure transient test a vertical hydrocarbon exploratory core" at Dinnington Road, Woodsetts, was lodged in 2018 by INEOS Upstream.

The Government’s Inspector recommended that the appeal be allowed and planning permission be granted subject to conditions – but Secretary of State Michael Gove said, in a letter, that he “disagrees with the Inspector’s recommendation.

“He hereby dismisses your appeal and refuses planning permission.”

The decision, made by Housing Minister Stuart Andrew on behalf of Mr Gove states: “The Secretary of State agrees that the proposal would give rise to noise and disturbance to local residents through the construction, decommissioning and drilling periods, although the actual duration of the works would be fairly short.”

“The Secretary of State considers that the works proposed, with the exception of the acoustic fence, are not inappropriate development in the Green Belt as they fall under the exceptions relating to mineral extraction.

Alexander Stafford, Rother Valley’s MP said: “No one is a bigger advocate for cleaner energy than me, but fracking is not, and has never been, the answer.

"It is not wanted here in Rother Valley, and this Conservative Government has yet again listened to us and represented us robustly.

“I hope residents in Woodsetts rejoice in this momentous victory that we have achieved together.”