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United against lifting of fracking ban

Peter Fox
By Peter Fox
7th October 2022

CPRE Derbyshire, alongside all of Derbyshire’s main opposition political parties and a wide range of local and regional environmental, countryside, climate and anti-fracking organisations, condemns the new Prime Minister’s lifting of the ban imposed on fracking by the previous Government in late 2019.

We also condemn any easing of earthquake and planning rules. We are supported in this by Derbyshire Green Party, Derbyshire Labour Party and Derbyshire Lib Dems along with other groups: Derby and Derbyshire Climate Coalitions, the Derbyshire Dales Climate Hub, Transition Chesterfield, local anti-fracking groups in NE Derbyshire, the Derbyshire Mineral Plan Community Action Group (DMPCAG) and Friends of the Earth. All have all voiced their opposition to the return of fracking.

CPRE local response

Andy Tickle, head of campaigns at CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire, said “Fracking is not the answer to the current energy crisis or to solving future energy security issues – and it is strongly opposed by local communities in Derbyshire. Liz Truss has said fracking can only happen with local consent, so surely this new plan must be dead in the water already?”

Opposition to fracking

In March, the Business and Energy Secretary (and now Chancellor) Kwasi Kwarteng said “fracking would take up to a decade to extract sufficient volumes – and it would come at a high cost for communities and our previous countryside”. He also said that extra supply generated from untapped shale reserves in the UK “won’t materially affect the wholesale market price”

Previously many Derbyshire MPs and councillors from all parties opposed fracking and the green groups will be asking them to speak out again against fracking and instead promote energy saving and clean energy options, especially renewables.

Our final plea is that Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council radically revise their forthcoming Minerals Local Plan to incorporate more climate friendly policies and much more stringent safeguards against the environmental and amenity impacts of fracking. The next version of the Plan is due in early 2023.

Political response

County Councillor Gez Kinsella from the Green Party (member for Duffield and Belper South) said “I know that many Derbyshire residents are opposed to this – it will not help to deliver Derbyshire County Council’s net-zero target or address spiralling energy costs. I will be working with individuals and groups, as well as county councillors from all parties to ensure the Minerals Local Plan, currently being developed by Derbyshire County Council, protects the people of Derbyshire from the environmental destruction fracking will cause.”

County Councillor Joan Dixon from Labour (Group Leader and member for Bolsover South) said: “Lifting the moratorium on fracking is a short-term solution to an energy crisis which could blight our communities for generations to come. Successive governments have had years to develop a sustainable and secure energy supply for the UK, replacing fossil fuels, but they have failed to do so. Last time Ineos came to town, the message from our local communities was clear and united. We do not want fracking. But will the government listen to us or their friends in the fossil fuel lobby?”

County Councillor Ed Fordham from the Liberal Democrats (Group Leader and member for Loundsley Green and Newbold) said “The Liberal Democrats remain committed against fracking nationally and internationally and that should be applied to Derbyshire with immediate effect. This plan should prioritise the planet and the views of residents – it currently favours business and private profit.”

Find out more

Read CPRE’s national stance on fracking here: Fracking – CPRE

Sign our petition that demands the government must rethink its fracking plans: Sign the petition

Drilling for shale gas Mark Waugh / Alamy Stock Photo