Friday, March 8, 2019

News: Rotherham Council planning u-turn over INEOS refusal


Oil and gas exploration and production business, INEOS could be in a stronger position to overturn a planning decision in Rotherham as Council officers prepare to withdraw one of its reasons for refusal before a planning inquiry later this year.

Councillors are being recommended that the reason for refusal on highways grounds "be withdrawn from the appeal process in light of the lack of evidence to support this aspect of the refusal."

In September 2018, the planning board at Rotherham Council unanimously voted to refuse plans for a Greenbelt site at Woodsetts.

The application would provide temporary permission for a maximum of five years and the operation would involve months of various site investigation surveys and site preparation before a period of drilling, coring and testing. A well would be drilled to approximately 2,800 m using a drill rig of maximum 60 m rig height followed by three months of testing.

Having been successful at the inquiry over its Harthill application, INEOS has appealed against the Woodsetts decision which was actually recommended for approval, having previously been refused on ecological grounds and on highway safety.


The application was refused based on the Council concluding that the development would significantly increase the number of HGV movements through the village of Woodsetts and surrounding highways; and have a detrimental impact on local residents on Berne Square in terms of noise nuisance and general disturbance.

A public inquiry is scheduled for June 2019 and, as the application was refused contrary to officers' recommendation, officers have reviewed the information, taken legal advice and approached a number of private consultants in an attempt to engage external expert witnesses "in order to avoid professional integrity issues."

No consultants said they would be able to provide a robust case to support the reason for refusal. Information not being considered to be sufficiently robust, and the cost of appointing consultants, were also factors. Councils could also end up paying costs if they unreasonably fail to keep cases under review.

Officers also discuss the "overall prospects of evidence in relation to the identified safety concerns being of sufficient weight to persuade an Inspector on appeal that the highways reason for refusal should be upheld."

Members of the planning board are expected to vote on the recommendation next week.

The noise and general disturbance reason will still be defended at the appeal.

Images: Google Maps


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP