People protesting against fracking in Woodsetts are set to take on INEOS at a public inquiry

Members of Frack Free South Yorkshire
Members of Frack Free South Yorkshire

After being rejected twice applications from INEOS for exploratory drilling in Woodsetts will be decided at a public inquiry.

The local Woodsetts community believed they were safe from the dangers of fracking, after Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council turned down INEOS applications for exploratory drilling twice. INEOS have now appealed to the national planning inspectorate to overturn the decision.

Woodsetts resident of 50 years, Richard Scholey, said: “Our village has spoken and said no to fracking in Woodsetts, or anywhere else, and our elected councillors have said no twice.

"I’m outraged that INEOS have the arrogance to come back again, in an attempt to force their plans on us against our will, and against the democratic processes we have in place.

"There are Local Authority homes designated for use by the elderly and most vulnerable in our community, right next to the proposed site, and we don’t want the rest of these peoples’ lives to be blighted by this industrial monstrosity.”

David Burley, from Frack Free South Yorkshire, said: “We know that fracking isn’t the right thing for any village, from HGV traffic congestion, to noisy industrial activity and increased air pollution, this is the wrong move at the very time we know we need to move away from fossil fuels.

"With a 30 year license, this one well could lead to many wells all around the area for decades to come.

"We understand the far-reaching impacts of fracking on the environment and peoples’ health, and we really hope for a positive result for Woodsetts in this inquiry.”

Members of Woodsetts Against Fracking will be at the public inquiry on Tuesday, June 11, from 9am, at Riverside House in Main Street, Rotherham.

An INEOS spokesman said: “INEOS Shale is disappointed that it was necessary for a Planning Inquiry to be held over the test drilling application near Woodsetts, the kind of application that has been approved across England countless times before.

"However, we are pleased to have an opportunity to discuss the science of the application in front of an unbiased Inspector.

“We believe that shale gas will help revive economies in the North of England. We understand that not everyone agrees but would ask that all arguments against shale gas stick to the up-to-date facts. The UK has to import most of its gas to meet the needs of society.

"It won’t use more gas because of shale. Energy efficiency is still essential. But is it not better for the UK to use its own gas. If shale gas proves to be successful in the UK, it provides the UK economy with highly competitive energy and it provides enormous levels of investment and jobs in the North of England where they are desperately needed.

“Manufacturing jobs are not created without investment and there is precious little investment in the North of England in manufacturing. Recent figures on jobs and investment estimate that the shale industry is expected to bring in £33 billion of investment into England alone over the next two decades.”