The agenda for the planning meeting next week is now published and the decision regarding CBM drilling in Dudleston is no longer on it. Instead there is a new document on the portal in which the planning officer is asking Dart to provide a lot more information. Hitherto the planning officer has presented a one-sided perspective, whereas the latest letter presents a more balanced viewpoint. It acknowledges that the application does indeed not comply with some of the council’s core strategies and it asks the applicant to provide more information, particularly around the noise levels. Interestingly it also highlights an inaccuracy in the noise limits quoted by the applicant and asks that the proposal be made to comply with a 40dB night time limit. Based on the information in the original application, that will be extremely difficult to achieve.
Right now there is a Climate Conference happening in Lima. World leaders are working out whether or not to commit to limiting the amount of damage that we do to our planet. Our current government has made many statements about their green aspirations and the reality is the opposite as this article shows: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/06/george-osborne-fossil-fuel-energy-environment. Even away from the area of energy, the reality doesn’t line up with the rhetoric as this report shows: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29210467.
By fighting to prevent drilling from happening in our lovely area we are protecting the land and health for ourselves and future generations. It is not a selfish cause because the reality is that the country will be better off without CBM or shale gas. The process of going from test drilling to full production is a very slow one indeed and by the time it reaches the extraction stage, the cost of the energy will be far higher than that of renewable energy. Nobody will want it and the unfortunate areas that had drilling imposed upon them will have done so for no greater good.
The next chapter in this tortuous story will happen early next year so in the meantime, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Planning decision postponed (again)