Objection Guide to Coal Bed Methane drilling and exploration at The Brooklands, Dudleston
Following the “Minded to Refuse” decision made by Shropshire council in November 2014, Shropshire council wrote to Dart requesting some of the information that should really have been present from the outset. Dart have since written to say that they will not be providing any more information and now they are appealing against the Council on the grounds of non-determination. However, to ensure the planning process has been completed we are pleased to say that Shropshire Council refused the planning application in February 2015 and made it clear that they are firmly against unconventional drilling anywhere in Shropshire.
It is questionable whether Dart had allowed enough time for the planning process to take its course before submitting their appeal, however the fact remains that the decision is no longer in the hands of the Council.
Thanks to your active participation in the planning process the appeal regarding the Dudleston CBM drill has now been upgraded to a Bespoke Inquiry. The appeal guidelines are very clear that contentious applications need to be handled thoroughly and with the opportunity for face-to-face engagement.
There will now be a formal hearing lasting at least three days which will give us the opportunity to thoroughly cross examine the evidence. It is your active involvement that has brought this about.
The other good news is that the seven months since we submitted evidence to the initial planning application has allowed us to gather lots more information so our case is even more robust. The hearing date is likely to be some months away and we will continue the research so that we have the best possible chance of winning.
In the meantime, if you wish to make your viewpoint known to the inspectorate please feel free to do just that. The deadline for making your opinion known is 22nd April 2015.
Here is a quick run through how to use the Inspectorate portal:
The link to the appeal is here: https://acp.planningportal.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3002435&CoID=0
Click on the above link to find the appeal.
To comment on the case you first need to register. Click on ‘register’ near the top of that first page.
Enter your details and press the ’Next’ button. The next screen will then ask you to create a new account. Again, enter your details and then use the ‘Create User’ button.
An email will then be sent for you to verify. Once this is done and you have your username and password, log in.
You will see a ‘Search for a Case’ box where you can enter the reference 3002435 and reach the appeal summary page.
This time you will see a ‘Make representation’ button. This button takes you to a new screen. In the ’Sections’ box at the top right hand side of the page, use the drop down menu to select ‘Your Details’. This shows a page for ‘Your Details’.
Tick ‘Interested Party’ then press the ‘Save and Continue’ button.
You will then see the representation page. Tick ‘No’ for acting on behalf of a group or company. You can tick to enter your comments / objections here in the space provided or scroll down to tick attach a separate document, or both, whichever you choose. Please start you comments with the words: Appeal reference 15/02213/NONDET OBJECTION.
You can then type in your new objection, or copy in your previous objection if you still have it and add more on if you want. You can save at any time on the portal but once you have finished, use the drop down menu in the ‘Sections’ box and select ‘Submit’.For those who prefer to send a letter in, remember to use the appeal reference then send three copies to 3/10b Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol. BS1 6PN.
- It is important that each objection is personally formulated in your own words, expressing your thoughts and individual concerns because photocopied or template responses may be ignored.
- You are allowed only the one online objection or letter per person but in that you can make as many objection points as you want. The more objection points, the better!
- Make your objection site specific, as wider concerns about issues such as government energy policy will be ignored.
- Refer to it as EXPLORATION FOR UNCONVENTIONAL GAS or CBM Drilling. Do not mention fracking as it is not in the Planning Application at this stage and your objection will be ignored.
- If you mention the possible withdrawal of insurance cover, increase in insurance premiums or negative impact on house values please be aware that these may not be treated as relevant planning issues, although the local economy is a relevant planning issue.
- Your objection can be as long or short as you like.
- When objecting to the planning application, please include your name and address or your objection may not be counted. Shropshire Council are required to not pass on your personal details
- The main points the local planning authority will consider when deciding whether to approve a planning application are the ‘material considerations’ of that specific project, i.e. the test drill. These are likely to carry more weight than those relating to developments that could stem from it, which would require a new planning application (eg Full-scale Coal Bed Methane production).
- Specifically, important points to include involve the size and location of the project, how it will function, and the relationship of the site with the immediate surroundings.
The principal issues that the mineral planning authorities will be concerned with include:
- noise associated with the operation
- air quality
- visual intrusion into the local setting and the wider landscape caused by the placement of any building or structure within the application site area
- landscape character
- archaeological and heritage features
- risk of contamination to land
- soil resources
- the impact on best and most versatile agricultural land
- flood risk
- land stability/subsidence
- internationally, nationally or locally designated wildlife sites, protected habitats and species, and ecological networks
- nationally protected geological and geomorphologic sites and features
- site restoration and aftercare