This week marks a celebration of sorts for Dart Energy, a first birthday party. Its 12 months since they first established a presence at the site they call “Tinker Lane 1” and amongst themselves they must feel a little smug. They have not after all been served with enforcement action for what Bassetlaw District Council (BDC) deemed to be an illegal occupation of the site!
Playing a canny hand, pitching a QC’s legal opinion against that of BDC, Dart managed to stall and now expect to bundle appropriate consent as part of their submission to drill the exploratory borehole at “Tinker Lane 1” to the Minerals Planning Authority of Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC).
To last 12 months in hostile territory, with the threat of eviction hanging over them, perhaps does warrant some partying this week. If Dart do have cause to celebrate, then it will not be in the Charnwood (cost them most dearly last time), but in their portacabin on the Tinker Lane site.
Residents in turn look forward to celebrations of their own if NCC’s Planning Committee turn down Island Gas’s application to drill at Misson Springs later next month.
So what have we learnt from the experience at Tinker Lane to date?
That we cannot rely solely on the authorities for enforcement and certainly not on the gas companies to act in compliance.
Its going to be down to concerned residents to take a very close interest in the activities of the regulators and Frackers alike and react accordingly.
Perhaps we already knew that. The experience at “Tinker Lane” and that previously with Dart Energy at Daneshill now certainly reinforces that view.