Residents have tonight been protesting at plans to carry out fracking in a Derbyshire village.
Dozens of villagers marched through Marsh Lane to Green Lawns Community Centre where chemical firm Ineos was hosting a public exhibition regarding its plans to drill for shale gas on land adjacent to Bramley Moore Lane.
Throughout the day people have been viewing the proposals and quizzing experts from Ineos.
In an earlier interview today, operations director at Ineos, Tom Pickering, told the Derbyshire Times: “There is a huge amount of information put out there which can be extremely worrying to people and that is the purpose of coming along today. We have brought with us geologists, drilling engineers and all of the team who are involved in the day-to-day managing of waste in our environmental team.
“I totally understand people’s concerns, I would be too if I heard some of the things that they have done but I hope they see that as a company we are keen to get out and talk to people and really listen to them.”
On the possibility of fracking causing an earthquake, he said: “Yes, poorly formed there is the potential for seismic event. What has been put in place is legislation to protect against that and what is actually very clear from evidence in the United States is that in the case of those types of seismic events there has been a handful, less than two handfuls, of these on a minor scale.”
On routes which HGVS may take to get to the site, Mr Pickering explained: “We have begun to look at routes into that site so we have been monitoring traffic.
“We have been looking at the traffic flow through those areas and assessing it against our needs on that road and assessing it against the rules that are in place with the local authority with regards to road capacity.”
On conducting an EIA, Mr Pickering added: “We have set out a screening criteria which is part of the environmental and planning process. And the assessment we have to make is whether an EIA is required or not required and the screening we have done is that it is not required. However, we have also said that we will be the first to commit to an EIA if we are required to do so.”
And on when a full planning application will be submitted, he said: “We will take our time to incorporate any concerns and try and address those in our application. At the time we expect that to be done would be mid to end of March latest. If it was approved we could look to July for work to start.”
When asked if he was confident of the application being successful, he said: “This is our first application. It is important that we talk with people and listen to concern because that is what matters to us at the moment and that we get this right. We’d like to do that while nurturing a good relationship with the community.”
Worried residents attended the exhibition to look at the plans.
Dale Glossop, 68, of Bramley Park, Marsh Lane, said: “Our concerns are for the wildlife for the area which includes many animals-birds, bats, badgers, owls and insects.
“Our water courses could become contaminated resulting in major health issues.
“Our roads and drains could also suffer tremendous damage due to the heavy lorries will also create traffic problems along the road through the village.”
“I think it will get the go-ahead to be honest. I am worried.
“I think Ineos must do an EIA.”
Her husband Paul, 58, said: “I think this public exhibition should have been done a lot earlier.
“I do not want my village to be destroyed.
“They are a big company and they think they can just stamp all over us. We can’t let this happen.”
Police were in attendance at the meeting and an ‘alternative’ exhibition was hosted by anti-fracking groups in the village at the same time as the Ineos exhibition before the march took place.