Llandow test-drilling granted

Planning Inspectorate Wales has given the go-ahead to test drilling for gas in the Vale of Glamorgan.

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Appeal decision 'hugely disappointing'

The Vale of Glamorgan Council's head of planning Rob Thomas says the decision to permit test gas drilling at Llandow is 'hugely disappointing'.

"It is hugely disappointing that the appeal has been allowed, especially after the Council and concerned residents made their views clear at the appeal inquiry held earlier this year.

This is not for exploitation of gas but rather exploration of whether the reserves are present. Any proposals that amount to the drilling for gas itself will have to be subject to a separate, further planning application and that will also involve extensive consultation and careful assessment in due course, if such an application is forthcoming.

– Rob Thomas, head of planning, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Planners in the Vale of Glamorgan rejected plans to begin test-drilling back in October - a decision that has now been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.


Test drilling in Vale of Glamorgan given go-ahead

Planning Inspectorate Wales has given the go-ahead to test drilling for gas in the Vale of Glamorgan.

It follows an appeal by Bridgend-based Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd after their application was first refused permission.

Objectors fear drilling could lead to the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing - or 'fracking'.

They say the risks associated with the process, which involves injecting high pressure water and chemicals into rock to release natural gas, are not fully understood.

Planners said: 'The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted to drill and test the insitu lower limestone and associated strata for the presence of gas at Unit 1 Llandow Industrial Estate, Cowbridge, in accordance with the terms of the application.'

A significant number of objectors raise concerns as to possible future proposals for gas extraction and the process known as hydraulic fracturing in particular. Whilst I understand these concerns, the proposal before me does not include extraction, whether by hydraulic fracturing or otherwise. Any extraction proposals would require a further application and the Vale of Glamorgan Unitary Development Plan makes it clear that the grant of planning permission for mineral exploration will not indicate a presumption in favour of future exploitation of any minerals found.

– Emyr Jones, planning inspector
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