24th June 2024

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Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan - Winter 2021 to 2022 Consultation

Please find below a copy of the Town Council's response to the latest consultation on the Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan.

Dear Sir/Madam

Derbyshire and Derby Minerals Local Plan - Winter 2021 to 2022 Consultation

I have been asked to contact you on behalf of Dronfield Town Council, to inform you of the Council's continued opposition and concerns regarding the extraction of shale gas (fracking) in Dronfield and the surrounding area.

The Council have a number of concerns, as follows;

a) There is a strong and serious argument challenging the safety of fracking on a range of grounds, which has led some countries to ban it or at least postpone it until further research is accomplished. We have concerns that Fracking could potentially damage people's health and the environment.

b) We believe that Fracking is not appropriate for densely populated areas such as Dronfield. It is believed that fracking would damage the surrounding landscape and have a detrimental effect on our surrounding Greenbelt.

c) There is a risk of groundwater contamination from hazardous substances used in the fracking fluid.

d) Fracking involves transfer of gas over long distance underground, without homeowner's approval.

e) The process requires large volumes of water which will need to be transported to the site, and then away from the site for recycling if there are no facilities on site.

f) We believe that regulation in the UK is not rigorous enough to guarantee safety for our residents.

These concerns have been submitted previously to Derbyshire County Council as part of its consultation for the Derby and Derbyshire Local Mineral Plan, but the Town Council would like to reiterate their ongoing concerns.

Dronfield Town Council considers that there would be a detrimental effect on the community, and the negative impact in the infrastructure of a highly populated area, which represents an unacceptable and hazardous risk.

If the extraction of shale gas ever does go ahead in Derbyshire, then there should be buffer zones in the policy that prohibit drilling within 500m of people's homes protecting residents from noise, light spill, visual intrusion and emissions of oil and gas sites.

Climate Change

The Town Council also feels that the draft Minerals Plan does not give due consideration to climate change. The draft Plan states in section SP2 page 62 that proposals for extraction will be supported if "they incorporate measures to minimise and offset greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and effectively assist in the reduction of vulnerability from and increase resilience to, the future impacts of climate change (adaptation)." The Town Council feel strongly that offsetting should not be allowed. The extraction companies should be responsible for not only reducing emissions from their own operations but also reducing or nullifying the carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions associated with their products. Any application for the extraction of shale gas should demonstrate net zero impact on climate change.

We would be grateful if you could please acknowledge our concerns.

Yours sincerely

Town Clerk

Posted: Mon, 16 May 2022

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