Derbyshire village fracking exploration given permission

Derbyshire fracking inquiry INEOS Image copyright Eddie Bisknell
Image caption An inquiry was held in Assembly Rooms, Chesterfield, in June

Planning permission has been granted to a petrochemical company to look for shale gas deposits near a Derbyshire village.

Derbyshire County Council rejected a bid from INEOS for exploratory mining close to Marsh Lane, near Eckington, north of Chesterfield, in February.

However, the firm has successfully appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Residents and anti-fracking protestors raised fears about the impact on roads and potential ground water pollution.

INEOS wants to begin exploratory mining near Bramleymoor Lane which would see a 60-metre (197ft) tall drill erected on the site to search for shale gas.

If it is found then fracking could begin on the site, but this would require another planning application.

Lee Rowley, Conservative MP for North East Derbyshire, tweeted he was "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

Despite the opposition, planning inspector Elizabeth Hill said the firm's appeal should be allowed.

She said there would be "slight harm in terms of the living conditions" of residents in the form of night-time noise, but it would not outweigh the benefits of the exploration.

Ms Hill had heard evidence from both sides during a public enquiry, held in Chesterfield, in June.

Councillor Martyn Ford, chair of Derbyshire County Council's planning committee, said it was a "very disappointing result for the residents of Marsh Lane".

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