Gas companies Igas and Ineos have PEDL (petroleum Exploration & Development Licences) for most of West Cheshire also extending into South Wirral and Deeside. The local anti-fracking group is expecting planning applications for exploratory drilling around Chester anytime.
A local campaigner has been granted a judicial review for the extension granted to Igas of PEDL 189 (the one that covers Upton and Mickle Trafford) on the grounds that Igas did not comply with PEDL conditions and therefore should not have been granted an extension. We are currently waiting for the decision from the judicial review and if it goes against Igas they would have to start the PEDL application process all over again.
Sibelco, the world’s largest silica sand producer has applied for planning permission for a 190 acre silica sand extraction quarry near Goostrey which straddles East and West Cheshire. Silica sand is used in great quantities in the fracking process and is extremely dangerous to human health. Breathing in silica dust leads to the long term lung disease silicosis. Originally CWAC delegated planning powers to East Cheshire but this has been found to contravene CWAC’s own rules. The planning application will now have to be approved by both councils. Public comments can still be sent to CWAC until 21 February 2017.