Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Objection Guide to Coal Bed Methane drilling and exploration at Dutton’s Lane, Upton

Objection Guide to Coal Bed Methane drilling and exploration at Dutton’s Lane, Upton


  • Planning permission has already been granted for exploratory drilling but the application did not pass through any local consultation committees and was granted by ‘delegated powers’, ie - The CW&C Chief Planning Officer.
  • Prior to the permission being granted, no meetings were arranged between Dart Energy and the local residents to explain the immediate impacts of the drilling and the possible long term consequences.
  • If the exploratory drilling reveals the presence of sufficient quantities of Coal Bed Methane then more applications will be made for productive drilling. The consequences of productive drilling are evidenced and they are dire.
  • We must demand that all future applications are dealt with transparently, and not solely through ‘delegated powers’, and that the public are kept fully aware of every application for planning permission for Coal Bed Methane or Shale Gas extraction.
Your objection will count and it is important to voice your concerns.
Don’t just leave it for others to object – do so yourself.

The more objections CW&C receive, the more difficult it will be for them to approve applications in the future.

You can still raise your objections by writing to:
It is important that each objection is personally formulated in your own words, expressing your thoughts and individual concerns.
Photocopied or template responses may be ignored.

Every adult in the household can object, so please make the extra effort to involve everyone in your home.

Make your objection site specific, as wider concerns about issues such as government energy policy will be ignored.


Do not mention fracking as it is not in the Planning Application at this stage and your objection will be ignored.
If you mention the possible withdrawal of insurance cover, increase in insurance premiums or negative impact on house values please be aware that these may not be treated as relevant planning issues, although the local economy is a relevant planning issue.

DON’T FORGET: Your objection can be as long or short as you like.

Objection Guide

Your letter of objection needs to be an individual and personalised document and should include your postal address to confirm that you are a resident of Chester.

You may wish to consider some of the points listed below. We do not pretend to suggest this is a comprehensive list so please expand as you wish.
Please remember that your objection has to be site specific – ie, Dutton’s Lane or Grange Farm, Upton by Chester

Recent changes to planning laws have seriously restricted what we are allowed to object to, this leaflet is here to help you make your objection count.


Despite Dart Energy’s assertions to the contrary, Upton Grange floods in winter and run off from the site poses a real threat to the water course. Any water borne pollution could be dispersed from the site via existing waterways and aquifers.


The Dutton’s Lane site will be continually floodlit throughout the hours of darkness.

Dart have applied for a licence to flare off gases, mostly methane and radon (the second most frequent cause of lung cancer). The 18m drill rig may be topped by a flare spilling out even more light pollution into our much appreciated “Dark Sky” area.


There will be constant 24/7 noise as a result of a mixture of drilling, industrial diesel generators, flaring, jet pump and vehicles. The noise will be more noticeable during the normal stillness of night and in the early dawn hours.

Prevailing winds will also impact on the noise pollution and we do not believe Dart Energy’s projected noise levels take into account wind direction and the natural contours of the land.


There is the potential for flaring of gas, which can result in a number of toxic chemicals being released into the atmosphere.
There is clearly a potential danger to health.
Heavy goods vehicle traffic and diesel generators emissions will also impact on local air quality. The prevailing wind will take airborne pollutants away from the site towards areas of housing.


There is lots of wildlife inhabiting Dutton’s Lane, in the area of the site of the proposed well pad there are a number of ponds that are appropriate habitats to accommodate the Great Crested Newt which is protected under European Law.

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is located within 800m of the proposed drill pad site in Dutton’s Lane. It stands as a valuable asset to our community and is rated within the top 15 visitor attractions of the world.

Their published environmental policy states that “the Zoo recognises that an ever increasing demand for natural resources is putting tremendous pressure on our planet’s ecosystems. Not only is this a threat to the vision of our Zoo, a thriving and sustainable natural world, it is a threat to the future health, wellbeing and security of our own species”.


The fields around the site support a dairy farm. The disturbance of the drilling poses a very real threat to the well-being of the animals. In Australia well pads cannot be sunk within a 2 kilometre range of dairy or livestock for this reason.

Health & Safety

Only residents living within 250m of the site were informed of the original planning application. There is actually only one residential property within this area, and this is the farm on Duttons Lane.

The site is also only 500m from Upton High School, in fact there are 8 schools and over 3,100 pupils within a 3km radius of the site. There is no mention in the planning application of a local emergency and evacuation plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment