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Hydraulic fracturing (fracking)

What is fracking?

Fracking is the hydraulic fracturing of shale rock. The process involves drilling down into the earth. Once the drill has reached a deep enough level, a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

Fracking is a highly controversial subject that many residents in the East Riding of Yorkshire are concerned about. The non-technical information note, which is available to download below seeks to answer some of the main questions that the public have raised with the council about the shale gas industry:

Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale - Non Technical Information Note (pdf 2.46mb opens in new window)

Please note: The information contained in the note is not exhaustive and the reader is advised to follow the links to the various websites at the end of the note for a more detailed overview of the specific issues of interest. It is the council's intention to update this information note when new issues arise that we consider will be of interest to the residents of the East Riding.

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Are there any current or approved planning applications for fracking?

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has not received any planning applications nor are there any planning permissions for fracking in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

However, it is likely that following the issue of the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round that planning applications for exploratory wells will be submitted for consideration by the LPA within the next two years.  Before any planning application is submitted the developer is likely to undertake seismic testing of the underlying geology.  Please refer to the non-technical Information note for further information.

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Have there been any applications for fracking outside of the East Riding of Yorkshire?

In 2015 three planning applications were submitted for fracking.  In 2016 one of the planning applications was approved by the Local Planning Authority and one was approved by the Secretary of State with the further application currently awaiting determination. 

These are:- 

  • Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire – planning reference NY/2015/0233/ENV – applicant Third Energy UK Gas Limited – the planning application was approved by North Yorkshire County Council in May 2016.
  • Land north of Preston off Preston Road, New Road, Nr Plumpton, Lancashire - planning reference APP/Q2371/W/15/3130923 -  Cuadrilla Bowland Ltd -  application for the construction and operation of a site for drilling up to four exploratory well , hydraulic fracturing of the wells, testing of hydrocarbons, abandonment of the wells and restoration, including provision of an access road and access onto the highway, security fencing, lighting and other uses ancillary to the exploration activities, including the construction of a pipeline and a connection to the gas grid network and associated infrastructure -  appeal submitted following refusal by Lancashire County Council - a Public Inquiry, chaired by an independent planning inspector was held in February/March 2016.  The appeal was called in to be determined by the Secretary of State who issued his decision in October 2016 and allowed the appeal and granted planning permission subject to conditions.  

  • Land at Roseacre Wood, Elswick, Nr Kirkham, Lancashire - planning reference APP/Q2371/W/15/3130924 - Cuadrilla Bowland Ltd -  application for the construction of a site for drilling up to four exploratory wells, hydraulic fracturing of the wells, testing for hydrocarbons, abandonment of the wells and restoration, including  provision of  access roads and improvement of accesses on to the highway, securing fencing, lighting and other uses ancillary to the exploration activities, including the construction of a pipeline and a connection to the gas grid network - appeal submitted following refusal by Lancashire County Council - a Public Inquiry, chaired by an independent planning inspector was held in February/March 2016.  The appeal was called in to be determined directly by the Secretary of State who issued his decision in October, 16 and decided to give the Appellant (Cuadrilla) and other parties the opportunity to provide any further evidence on highway safety and allow parties to make any representations on that before reaching a final decision on this appeal  Subject to being satisfied that the highway safety issues identified by the Inspector can be satisfactorily addressed, the Secretary of State is minded to allow this appeal and grant planning permission, subject to conditions. 

  • Two further appeals were allowed by the Secretary of State for monitoring works within a 4 Km radius of the proposed Preston Road Exploration site and the construction, operation and restoration of two seismic monitoring arrays comprising of 80 buried seismic monitoring stations and 8 surface seismic monitoring stations.   

 

  • A copy of the Secretary of States Decision Letter can be accessed through the link at the bottom of this note. 

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What information was provided at the East Riding Fracking Event?

The Council organised a ' Fracking Event' with speakers both for and against fracking in April 2016 and the speakers presentations are attached below:

Frack Free East Yorkshire (pdf 13mb opens in new window)

Friends of the Earth - Why fracking is not the answer to our energy problems (powerpoint 2.2mb opens in new window)

Cuadrilla - Shale Gas Exploration and Hydraulic Fracturing (powerpoint 11mb opens in new window)

Environment Agency - Regulation of Onshore Oil and Gas (powerpoint 3mb opens in new window)

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Where can I find more information on fracking?

You can find out more information by visiting any of the websites listed below:

Department of Energy and Climate Change - Guidance on Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing (external website - opens in new window)

Task Force on Shale Gas – Final Conclusions and Recommendations (external website) 

Friends of the Earth – Key Information on Fracking and Shale Gas (external website - opens in new window)

UKOOG – Community Engagement Charter (external website - opens in new window)

GOV.UK - National Planning Policy Framework (external website - opens in new window) 

National Planning Practice Guidance (external website - opens in new window)

GOV.UK - SOS Decision Letter Recovered Appeals  (external website - opens in new window)

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