Relief for campaigners as Woodsetts fracking plans are finally quashed

Relief for campaigners as Woodsetts fracking plans are finally quashed

By Gareth Dennison | 08/06/2022

Relief for campaigners as Woodsetts fracking plans are finally quashed
Flashback to protests outside Riverside House in 2019.

 

ANTI-fracking campaigners rejoiced at a government decision to overturn planning permission which allowed drilling in their village.

Permission for Ineos’ 800-metre exploratory well at Dinnington Road was approved on appeal after being thrown out by RMBC.

But the final decision was called in by the government — with a final decision originally expected in April 2020.

Now Michael Gove, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, has decided that the drilling cannot go ahead.

Woodsetts Against Fracking members were ecstatic at the news, describing it as a clear indication that fracking has no future in the UK.

A spokesperson added: “The community of Woodsetts always maintained, not only that this was inappropriate development in our small rural setting, but that it would open the door to a highly-damaging fracking industry with potentially ruinous consequences for ecology and climate change on a much wider scale.

“It has been a long and difficult road to get to this point, and it has often felt like an unequal battle against Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos, one of the giants of the petrochemical industry.

“It shows just what can be achieved when a community comes together to make a stand; something that will become increasingly necessary if we are to get politicians and governments to take meaningful action to safeguard our countryside and take action on climate change.”

Mr Gove ruled that the development’s energy benefits were outweighed by harm to the green belt and residents.

A statement said: “He agrees that the construction of the well in this area of tranquil countryside will inevitably cause significant visual intrusion.”

Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford said: “I am delighted that the government has stood up for the people of Rother Valley on yet another critically important issue for our area.

“I have been lobbying tirelessly behind the scenes to have the secretary of state step in, and I am pleased that my calls have been answered with decisive, positive action.

“No-one is a bigger advocate for cleaner energy than me, but fracking is not, and has never been, the answer.”

Ineos has six weeks to appeal.