Thursday, 16 June 2016
Shale Gas and Brown-field sites
The planning process is now complete in Kirby Misperton and its various disparate advocates have withdrawn to make their plans; Third Energy to plan their fracking tests, other companies to prepare their next proposals, and the opposing groups to demonstrate and disrupt. Green leafy Yorkshire, they say, is to be industrialised. Yet that was not the professional balanced judgement made by North Yorkshire’s planning officers.
While it is true that modern fracking techniques use technology that is much more environmentally-friendly than ten years ago, and could access over 200 km2 of land from a single location, using smaller pumps and more environmentally friendly fluids, anxieties remain.
Surely, however small the impact of a fracking location would be on countryside, it behoves us to ensure they are, wherever it is possible, located in already industrialised brown-field sites. These are scattered around the countryside in surprising numbers, spread wide enough to enable all of the target rocks to be accessed.
It would be better to have a well-pad in an existing light industrial estate where lorry traffic is already planned for than in a virgin leafy dell.