We have heard over the last few months, largely as a result of Freedom of Information requests to public bodies that INEOS has grandiose plans that are likely to lead to the widespread fracking of much of Bassetlaw. With little regard for public concerns and sentiment we learnt that Sherwood Forest is under threat. The Forestry Commission has already kowtowed and seismic survey is on the cards for much of Nottinghamshire’s forested areas.
The National Trust has fended off an approach from INEOS but you can bet that pressure will be brought to bear by government and the Trust will eventually have to concede and allow INEOS to survey on the Trust’s land.
Back in December, we now know, thanks to FOI, that Fisher German Priestner approached Nottinghamshire County Council on behalf of INEOS for permission to undertake seismic survey on Council land in Bassetlaw. (area shown on marked up aerial view of Manton, Worksop). Whatever the current status of the permissions that INEOS seeks it must be of great concern to the people of Bassetlaw that INEOS appears to seek permissions to survey and most likely frack those areas that have already been extensively deep mined.
The details and extent of mining operations are held by the Coal Authority and are not freely available to the public. We can however surmise that there are abandoned mine workings in the vicinity of the area described by INEOS as land in the vicinity of Shireoaks Colliery, Manton Colliery and in the case of the Forestry Commission application,Thoresby Colliery. We already know from Tinker Lane CLG that drilling into and through voids underground presents all sorts of casing problems and is best avoided. It seems that INEOS might be bullheaded enough to believe that they have the technical knowhow to drill and frack through and beneath old mine workings. Important that NCC take a position to oppose applications that involve drilling in the vicinity of old mine workings and make this position known to INEOS at an early stage. It would be most unsatisfactory and indeed dangerous if NCC rely once again on a cursory response much as HSE returned as Consultees to the Tinker Lane consultation to justify INEOS applications to investigate and frack the Nottinghamshire Coal fields.