The following blog has been created to provide a guide on how to object to the fresh planning application by IGAS in Ellesmere Port. It also contains some relevent points on which you may wish to object. Please feel free to use the pointers here but be sure to submit any comments in your own words else they may be discarded by the planning committee. Please submit your objections as soon as possible as the current deadline is 28th August 2017. We will keep you updated on any extra information we recieve that may further assist on this issue. Many thanks for taking the time to support.
On 21st July the onshore oil and gas company Igas applied for planning permission for an extended well test at the Portside site in Ellesmere Port. You can object to this planning application. In order to do so please follow the link to the council planning portal https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/online-applications/ and use the reference code 17/03213/MIN. The current deadline for objections is 28th August. In 2010 Igas secured planning permission to drill a well 900m vertically for coal-bed methane exploration and production. Igas exceeded this distance by drilling to 1,949m vertically into the shale bed.
The testing process is intended to last 88 days. A further planning application would be necessary to develop the site for full production. It is important to note that the Portside site is 1.7 km from the centre of Ellesmere Port, 400m from residential properties, 270m from the Mersey Estuary SSI site and less than 100m from an industrial unit. Ellesmere Port has already been registered as an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ due to significant levels of air pollution.
The application itself is likely to be heard by full planning committee, rather than by an individual officer under delegated powers, due to the recent changes on procedures in relation to Unconventional gas extraction being adopted.
Here is a quick run through how to use the cwac planning portal:
The link to the planning application is here: https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/online-applications/
Enter reference code 17/03213/MIN.
To comment on the application, you first need to register. Click on ‘register’ near the top of the page.
Enter your details and press the ’Next’ button. You will then be asked you to create a new account. Again, enter your details and a password. An email will then be sent for you to verify. Once this is done you are registered. Click onto the planning application once again https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/online-applications/ and re-enter keyword reference code 17/03213/MIN
Click onto the “comments” section and then click onto the “login and make a comment”. You will be asked to supply your email and password You will be asked to verify your “Comment Type” (member of public) “Stance” (object) and “Reasons for Comment”. You will then be able to enter your views in the comments section box or better still pre-prepare your objection and copy it as there is a time restriction on the site. You can save at any time on the portal but once you have finished select the ‘Submit’ box. You can also select to have an email sent to you confirming your comments (recommended).
For those who prefer to send a letter remember to use the planning application reference 17/03213/MIN and send to:
Planning Applications Department, Cheshire West and Chester Council, HQ Building, Chester CH1 2NP quoting ’17/03213/MIN – Portside North, Ellesmere Port. It is also a worthwhile exercise to send copies to your local councillors and Mp’s.
- It is important that each objection is personally formulated in your own words, expressing your thoughts and individual concerns because photocopied or template responses may be ignored.
- Formulate your comments in numbers/bullet points; that way if a single point is deemed inadmissable it will be discarded as a stand alone comment and will not affect any of your other objections.
- Make as many objection points as you want. The more objection points, the better!
- Make your objection site specific, as wider concerns about issues such as government energy policy will be ignored.
- Do not mention fracking as it is not in the Planning Application at this stage and your objection will be ignored.
- If you mention the possible withdrawal of insurance cover, increase in insurance premiums or negative impact on house values please be aware that these may not be treated as relevant planning issues, although the local economy is a relevant planning issue.
- Your objection can be as long or short as you like.
- When objecting to the planning application, please include your name and address or your objection may not be counted.
The main points the local planning authority will consider when deciding whether to approve a planning application are the ‘material considerations’ of that specific project. These considerations are likely to carry more weight than those relating to developments that could stem from it, which would require a new planning application.
- Specifically, important points to include involve the size and location of the project, how it will function, and the relationship of the site with the immediate surroundings.
Cheshire West and Chester have recently introduced a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) specifically in relation to oil and gas exploration and this is useful for formulating a response to planning applications
The principal issues that the mineral planning authorities will be concerned with include:
- noise associated with the operation
- air quality
- visual intrusion into the local setting and the wider landscape caused by the placement of any building or structure within the application site area
- landscape character
- archaeological and heritage features
- risk of contamination to land
- soil resources
- the impact on best and most versatile agricultural land
- flood risk
- land stability/subsidence
- internationally, nationally or locally designated wildlife sites, protected habitats and species, and ecological networks
- nationally protected geological and geomorphologic sites and features
- site restoration and aftercare
Health impacts both physical and mental (due to lack of knowledge about this process and ensuing stress)
links to further reading:
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