Nottingham

Shale gas drilling plan in Misson approved

Fracking protest
Image caption Protesters who opposed the shale gas plans gathered outside Nottinghamshire County Council

An energy firm has been granted permission to test for shale gas in Nottinghamshire.

County councillors approved the plans for exploratory drilling in Misson at a meeting on Tuesday.

Island Gas Limited (IGas) can now go ahead and develop a hydrocarbon wellsite and drill up to two wells.

Greenpeace UK campaigner Hannah Martin called the decision a "deep shame" and added "fracking makes little economic and environmental sense".

Councillors spoke of having to "make a difficult decision".

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Image caption IGas can now go ahead and develop a hydrocarbon wellsite and drill up to two wells - one to drill vertically and the other to drill horizontally to look for shale gas

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The authority said no hydraulic fracturing - known as fracking - is included in the proposals, which are subject to conditions and legal agreements.

Conditions relate to issues such as traffic, air pollution, noise and ground water levels.

Image caption Environmental campaigners called the decision "disappointing"

John Blaymires, chief operating officer of IGas, said the firm is "pleased" with the decision and pledged to work with the local community.

He said he expects work on the site, in Springs Lane, to begin sometime in 2017.

John Wilkinson, chairman of the council's planning and licensing committee, said: "Ultimately the committee concluded that the applicant was able to effectively demonstrate how they could address the planning issues within the county council's jurisdiction, such as traffic, noise and access, opening hours, the impact on residential areas and wildlife, flooding, heritage and archaeology."

Image caption Fracking is a technique in which water and chemicals are pumped into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas

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