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Local democracy bypassed in new fracking rows say FoE and CPRE

20 December 2017

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) have condemned moves by fracking company Ineos to remove local decision-making powers from councils in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.

Ineos, who applied earlier this year to drill exploratory wells near Eckington in Derbyshire and Harthill in Rotherham, have now asked the government to intervene on the grounds that the local councils have taken too long to decide.

“These are complex cases where both councils must fully evaluate the likely impacts. To do this takes both time and care and the councils have had to ask Ineos to provide further environmental information,” said Daniel Carey-Dawes, senior infrastructure campaigner at CPRE, “For Ineos to now bypass that process is both unfair and unreasonable. This disregard for local democracy is unacceptable”.

Both drilling applications and the new appeals have ignited fury in local communities and with local politicians such as Sir Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley and Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis. For the past year, CPRE and Friends of the Earth’s regional staff have been supporting affected communities with planning and advocacy advice.

“Both CPRE and Friends of the Earth are fully committed to helping local communities fight fracking,” said Simon Bowens, regional campaigner for Friends of the Earth, “We’ll be working closely to ensure strong arguments are put to the forthcoming planning inquiries so that Ineos’ bully-boy tactics don’t succeed”.

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