New proposals by Ineos have emerged for a 3m high noise barrier running for more than 100m alongside its site earmarked for shale gas exploration in the south Yorkshire green belt. Residents in the village of Woodsetts have described the barrier as the “Great Wall of Ineos” and complained that it would “fence them in”.
On Preston New Road, where big houses behind wrought iron gates give way to green fields, there’s a makeshift anti-fracking camp — likened and styled by environmental activists as their present-day equivalent of Greenham Common, a peacenik Cold War stand against the United States and its stationing of cruise missiles with nuclear warheads aimed at targets across the Communist bloc.
A High Court judge ruled this morning that the government does not have to carry out a new public consultation on its planning policy on fracking.
Mr Justice Dove was responding to a call by lawyers for anti-fracking campaigner, Claire Stephenson, who won a case against the local government secretary in March 2019. (DrillOrDrop report)
The case concerned the revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which sets the basis for planning decisions and included government support for fracking.
In his original ruling, the judge quashed paragraph 209a of the NPPF.
Fracking firm Cuadrilla has denied that its Preston New Road site is being run down after opponents said equipment was being removed.
The shale gas company, which has drilled two wells at the Little Plumpton site, said the latest move – taking down the 30 ft high, green, acoustic barrier – was just to “reduce the visual impact”.
Ratcliffe defended his company’s operations, saying Ineos have pioneered new methods of recycling plastic.
On fracking, he said the majority of environmental groups he has met with are “ignorant” of the facts, and said it was a cheap source of energy. “I think it’s outrageous the government have listened to a noisy, minuscule minority instead of looking at the science,” he said.
The government’s fracking tsar, ex-Labour MP Natascha Engel, has quit six months into the job. She claims rules the government has been forced to adopt, which mean fracking must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected, means that campaign groups “were driving policy”. She says that the government is “pandering to what we know to be myths and scare stories” about shale-gas extraction.
But the ‘myths’ are real, and fracking continues to only be pushed by big business despite complete condemnation by climate scientists, campaigners and trade unionists.
Engel claims the rules effectively mean a ‘ban’ on fracking. But the government has long been a supporter of fracking and has helped its big-business mates push ahead with it wherever possible. The new government rules are a welcome response to pressure.
To ensure a real ban on the dangerous practice we need proper democratic control by working-class people of land and resources as part of a socialist plan – in the interests of the working class and the environment.
“The Traffic Light System for monitoring induced seismicity was introduced after consideration of advice from three scientists, following operations at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall site in 2011″. “These regulations have been working as intended and there are no plans to review the traffic light system”.
Welcome to our April Newsletter
Green Monday Speakers
Resignation of the Shale Gas Commissioner
Cuadrilla at Preston New Road
Appeal against Ineos Injunction Succeeds
Third Energy Sold Off
Back to Back Shale Gas Development
News in Brief
A Good Read