BREAKING NEWS Ineos Planning Permission Declined by Secretary of State

In July 2019 the Secretary of State called in the decision on planning permission for drilling in Woodsetts, removing it from local council decision making. Today that decision has been announced – and it has been declined !!!

The members of WAF are absolutely ecstatic that the current Secretary of State Michael Gove has seen fit to refuse this application by Ineos. It is a clear indication that fracking has no future in England or the UK as a whole.

It is particularly significant that Michael Gove has overturned the original decision of the planning inspector, who had recommended the plan for approval. In doing so, he has indicated that weight must be given to climate change and to the fracking moratorium, even though this application was for an exploratory well only. Furthermore, he reinforces the need to protect against the impact of development in the green belt. These are all benchmarks for the future.

The community of Woodsetts always maintained, not only that this was inappropriate development in our small rural setting, but that it would open the door to a highly damaging fracking industry with potentially ruinous consequences for ecology and climate change on a much wider scale. Thankfully we have been listened to.

It has been a long and difficult road to get to this point, and it has often felt like an unequal battle against Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos, one of the giants of the petrochemical industry. It shows just what can be achieved when a community comes together to make a stand; something that will become increasingly necessary if we are to get politicians and governments to take meaningful action to safeguard our countryside and take action on climate change.

This is a victory in which so many deserve recognition; the members of WAF, the wider community of Woodsetts, our neighbours in Harthill and Marsh Lane who had already undertaken their own fight with Ineos, CPRE, the many anti-fracking groups around country who supported us, the experts who gave their time to gather and present evidence at the inquiry on our behalf, and the legal team who pulled it all together into a cogent and coherent argument.

Ineos have 6 weeks to appeal the decision. Whilst today is tremendous news, we will keep you posted as we hear more.

See the full response from the Secretary of State here

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