What an amazing day!

acid squeeze
Everyone say “acid squeeze!”

A massive thank you to everyone who came along to see our final submission at the Ellesmere Port public inquiry yesterday. Your support was amazing!

It was special to be in that grand old hall and listen to the forceful arguments against IGas stack up one by one. Our brilliant barrister Estelle delivered her speech with aplomb, and the rapturous standing ovation she received was testament to the terrific work of her and our team. They’ve done us all proud.

There were tears of relief as months of effort and hard work came to an end. We can rest assured that we’ve done everything we possibly can to fight the frackers and Keep Cheshire Frack Free. We hope that this may turn out to be a historic day.

The inquiry is now adjourned until next Tuesday at 10:30am when Cheshire West and Chester Council will make its final submission.

Have yourselves a fantastic frack free weekend!

Public inquiry final submission

estelle
Estelle making her final submission

Our brilliant barrister Estelle made her final submission to the Ellesmere Port public inquiry yesterday. She spoke eloquently and convincingly for over 100 minutes, and it’s difficult to convey the full weight of her arguments, the complexity of her technical understanding and the sheer impact of her speech, but here’s a summary.

IGas’s proposed exploration for shale gas, on a site 320m from local residences and 50m from local businesses, is not sustainable. Its impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, its negative air quality impacts, negative public health impacts, the social and economic harm it will cause, the risks it poses to nearby residents and businesses, and the way in which it undermines the regeneration vision for Ellesmere Port and its historic waterfront, mean that it is not sustainable development.

Given the existential threat of climate change, given the IPCC’s warnings of the need for immediate action to stay within 1.5 degrees of warming, given we have 11 years in which to act, it is the policies that seek to address climate change and limit greenhouse gas emissions that must be given the greatest weight.

We are currently at 1 to 1.1 degrees above preindustrial levels. If we are to hold to 1.5 degrees we have a small carbon budget available; incredibly small. Every additional molecule will take away from that tight carbon budget. So there is little emissions space.

Every emission emitted by this development is one that cannot be emitted by a school or a hospital or any other development if we are to stay within our carbon budget.

There is evidence that deprived communities are disproportionately exposed and vulnerable to the effects of exposure to environmental pollution including traffic related impacts on air quality. Even small levels of exposure can impact negatively on such communities. Residents who are poorer, suffering from health problems, unhappy and opposed to the proposed development may experience its impacts more intensely than others.

There is clear evidence before the inspector that there are widespread, genuinely held fears on the part of the local community that the development represents a risk to their health and to their safety. The specific characteristic of the local community make the social harm caused by granting planning permission more acute.

This is not an ignorant or an ill-informed community. They have long experience of the impacts of industry. They have access to, and have accessed, information on the impacts of shale gas exploration within a residential community, even when regulated. They have read the science.

They have a wealth of information about the public health impacts of climate change, to which this development unquestionably will contribute. Again, they have read the science.

So these genuinely held and entirely justified concerns, in and of themselves, are a reason to refuse planning permission

In the way it interacted with the community, in the information it provided, in its high-handed approach, in its resort to injunctions, IGas made a series of decisions that caused and then exacerbated the community’s lack of trust. This contributed significantly to the social harm which the development will cause.

What makes this proposal different from other proposals is that it is planned to be situated in the heart of an already vulnerable community, in the context of a complete breakdown in trust between that community and the developer, based on the developer’s behaviour, and where the expert evidence shows a granting of planning permission would lead to social harm and a public health impact.

The local community has said a resounding no to the proposed development. Its opposition is not ill-informed or ignorant or knee-jerk, as some have attempted to characterise it.

The proposed development is simply in the wrong place and, in light of its adverse impacts, is not acceptable in planning terms. This issue boils down to location, location, location. The proposed development is simply in the wrong location. As a result is it not sustainable development and planning permission should be refused.

Read Estelle’s full speech:

Ellesmere Port Inquiry – FFEP&U Closing Submissions 28-2-19

We still need your help!

cheshire frack free

Thank you to everyone who’s donated so far. Without your generous donations we simply wouldn’t have been able to fight our corner at the inquiry. It’s a fabulous achievement and we couldn’t have done it without you!

We’ve entered the home straight, so if you’d like to donate and help us over the finish line, we’d be very grateful.

DONATE

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Ellesmere Port residents say – NO. The CW&C planning committee say – NO 28/01/18

Ellesmere Port residents say – NO.

The CW&C planning committee say – NO

cheshire frack free

A Public Inquiry will resume in Chester Town Hall from the 26thto the 28thFebruary; it deals with a number of firsts.

  • First public inquiry in 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. Ignoring this could lead to climatic disaster within a couple of decades.
  • First gas well sitethat is situated in an urban area – on an industrial estate with a new housing estate under construction only 320m away.

Nearly 1,500 separate objections and a petition of over 1000 signatures were against the proposal.

Public statements from three local MPs, a representative for the Cheshire Crime and Police Commissioner, have supported the groundswell of opposition. Many local residents gave moving accounts of how the existing pollution in Ellesmere Port and surrounding areas has affected their health adversely.

So far the inquiry has unearthed –

  • 250,000+ is the estimated policing cost to Cheshire Police if IGas is successful in this appeal.
  • 15,000+ is the amount of money raised in crowd funds for FFEP&U to defend the council decision.
  • 17,600 is the amount of tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions the IGas proposal will cause.
  • 3,500 is the number of times a car would travel around the worldto expel the same amount of CO2.
  • 2 is the number of people who were in favour of the IGas proposals.
  • 0 is the number of permanent local jobs likely to be created as a result of the IGas operation.
  • 0 is the amount of Climate Change experts provided by IGas to the inquiry.

IGas are looking to sting the Cheshire West & Chester Council for the cost of the inquiry. IGas has to prove to the government appointed planning inspector, that the CW&C planning refusal is unreasonable. Potentially this cost could be considerable and will, without doubt, hit CW&C essential community services hard.

Frack Free Ellesmere Port & Upton will object to this IGas proposal every step of the way.

Crowd funding for the appeal – http://www.gofundme.com/ellesmere-port-appeal-fund

Visit http://www.ellesmereportfrackfree.uk

Ellesmere Port says NO! 20/01/19

cheshire frack free

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.

Continue reading “Ellesmere Port says NO! 20/01/19”

Ellesmere Port is not for shale! 11/01/19

not for shale

The forthcoming inquiry will be a first –

  • First in 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 in the UK where the well site is located in an urban environment. If the precedent is set here, we could have gas wells popping up in towns all around the country.

Continue reading “Ellesmere Port is not for shale! 11/01/19”

Inquiry Rally Travel Information

The Ellesmere Port Public Inquiry is at the Chester Town Hall and we hope that Frack Free supporters will rally front of the Town Hall from 9.30 am on Tuesday 15 January. There will be banners, placards and facilities for public speaking while those attending the inquiry must be inside by 9.30 for a 10.00 start. The rally is expected to continue outside for some time.

The map shown in the following link shows parking, rail and bus stations and public toilets in the city centre.

The Town Hall is a 15 minute walk from the rail and bus stations, but I there is a number 40 bus service running to the city centre every 10 or 12 minutes.

The closest public toilets to the Town Hall are below the market hall off Princess Street or at the Storeyhouse on Northgate Street/ Hunter Street corner.

There is town centre car parking available for about £5 for the day.

In addition to the car parks shown, there are large park and ride sites at all main approach roads to Chester.

There are plenty of places for food and drink around the Town Hall Square including Blackstocks very good fish and chips, trendy coffee and sandwich bars, the new Storeyhouse, the market hall cafe itself and several pubs and hotels. For some peace and quiet, there is the Cathedral and it’s refectory. The tourist information office is in the Town Hall Square and there’s the whole centre for exploring.

https://www.visitcheshire.com/dbimgs/FINAL%20PARKING%20MAP%20(A3)%20MASTER(3).pdf

The car parks shown as free after 3pm now charge for all times.

chester parking 1chester parking 2

Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton Needs You! 07/01/19

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Firstly, wishing you a happy and successful 2019 and thanking you all for your support in 2018.

We are in the final lap of the run up to the Inquiry. So far we are on track and have submitted everything on time. We are in good shape to prevent Ellesmere Port from being turned into the centre of a gas extraction industry, it all remains to be lost or won on the day.

The Inquiry will be held at Chester Town Hall at 10am from 15th to 18th and 22nd to 24th January 2019.

Continue reading “Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton Needs You! 07/01/19”