Fracking firm's Harthill drilling bid "must be stopped"

By Gareth Dennison | 24/01/2018

Fracking firm's Harthill drilling bid 'must be stopped'
The Common Road site, Harthill

COMMUNITY and green groups will unite to speak against fracking in Rotherham at a planning meeting tomorrow.

Ineos has applied to carry out drilling to examine the geology 2,800 metres under Common Road in Harthill.

The chemical company decided to move directly to a Planning Inspectorate decision, claiming Rotherham Borough Council was taking too long.

It means the application is essentially refused — but RMBC’s planning board will meet at 1pm tomorrow to discuss what evidence to take to the public inquiry.

A report from council officers said vehicle access to the rural site was unsuitable and said the ecology information from Ineos was “deficient”.

The application does not include fracking — the hydraulic fracturing of underground rock — but future proposals could if the land is found to be suitable.

Andy Tickle, South Yorkshire director of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, said: “The drill site would be in some of Rotherham’s best countryside and would have significant impacts on landscape and tranquillity. 

“It is unnecessary industrialisation of the South Yorkshire countryside and it must be stopped.”

The CPRE will join Friends of the Earth and Harthill Against Fracking to speak at Rotherham Town Hall tomorrow.

Ineos also has plans to drill in Woodsetts, Rotherham, and Eckington in Derbyshire — both within ten miles of the Harthill site.

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