Local residents save the day at Harthill fracking inquiry
The planning inquiry into INEOS' proposals to explore for shale gas, which could lead to the fracking in South Yorkshire, is now over. After late changes were made to the traffic management proposals by INEOS, Rotherham Council's case was weakened significantly, despite Councillors at a recent planning board refusing to back down on their opposition to the revised plans. At the end of the first week of the inquiry, Rotherham withdrew its opposition on ecology after it failed to defend its position properly.
This week has seen a day of local groups, notably Harthill Against Fracking, CPRE South Yorkshire, Friends of the Earth and many local residents making a persuasive and passionate defence of local countryside. Concerns focused on the safety of local residents and visitors on the narrow lanes around the proposed site, off Common Lane, and impacts on local farms.
Andy Tickle, Director, gave evidence to the inquiry, and said "Local people have made their feelings very plain and made a huge contribution to the inquiry. Their evidence was very clear and pointed out the many problems with INEOS' plans, especially on traffic issues. They were amazing!".
The inquiry has now closed but a decision will not be made for several months.