The Public Inquiry being held in Chester Town Hall from the 22ndto the 24thJanuary has a number of firsts.
- First Public Inquiryin the UK to be held where the planning application has been refused on the grounds of failing to mitigate the effects of climate change – granting the application would fly in the face of all recent climate science which requires us to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 Deg C otherwise face climatic disaster within a couple of decades.
- First gas well site that is situated in an urban environment – on an industrial estate with a new housing estate under construction only 320m away.
Last Friday (18th) three local MPs, a representative from the Cheshire Crime and Police Commissioner and many local residents had their opportunity to confront IGas and the government appointed planning inspector, to voice their objections to the IGas proposal to flow test their existing gas well on Portside in Ellesmere Port.
“We are here because thousands of people in our community said NO. Our council said NO. The science says NO. Planet earth says NO – why won’t IGas take NO for an answer”.– Local resident.
“ Ellesmere Port has always been considered as a convenient dumping ground for the rest of Cheshire and it’s time for this to stop”– Local Cheshire Councillor.
“The ‘Gold Standard’ regulator – the Environment Agency, has suffered drastic cuts in manpower due specifically to the austerity measures of this government. The Agency will rely on IGas self-monitoring it’s operation on Portside; therefore a breach of the EA permit would have to be self-reported! – This is like relying on motorists to report their own speeding offences – this is plain bonkers!”–Retired Environment Agency manager and local resident.
“Our community said NO – our council said NO and now IGas expects us, who live in a seriously disadvantaged area, to pay for the cost of this appeal – it’s disgraceful”. – Local resident.
Next Tuesday (22ndJanuary) sees the inquiry resuming. Other expert witnesses acting on behalf of Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton will submit their evidence to the Government appointed planning inspector.
“This IGas application lacks clarity and opens a Pandora’s box of things they can do. The application contradicts itself in many areas and our attempts to seek clarity have failed. Given they have such a track record of ignoring planning permission, I wonder what they will do this time” says Mr. Colin Watson, expert on site location.
Prof David Smythe, expert geologist witness from the University of Glasgow says –
“The geology at the well provided by IGas does not correspond with the information supplied to the Council and Regulators. A cross section submitted in the IGas application, is indeed of an area some 8km to the east of the Ellesmere Port well site – possibly Ince Marshes and the all important geological faults are absent in the information provided”.
Frack Free Ellesmere Port & Upton will object to this IGas development every step of the way.
Crowd funding for the appeal – http://www.gofundme.com/ellesmere-port-appeal-fund