This is a brief summary of the points raised at the CLG that we believe will be of most interest to the communities we represent.
Although IGas are currently in the so called evaluation phase it was clear (to the writer) that as there was no Bowland Shale found the evaluation phase is better considered a lull before contracts are let and permissions obtained from the regulator Nottinghamshire County Council for the restoration/rehabilitation of the site.
The layby closure was required by Highways Agency for the duration of the construction, drilling, evaluation and restoration of the site. However NCC are looking at getting the layby back into use during the current evaluation phase. IGas will put an application into NCC Planning for their approval to remove the concrete blocks (from the layby) then subsequently an application into Highways Agency to sanction temporary traffic lights (for a day) to allow a Hiab to remove the blocks and place them temporarily on the concrete pad on site. The above application will be made as a “non material amendment” so as to action expeditiously but allows consultation between NCC, Highways and the Parish Council.
IGas advised that they did not take a core sample, save for some side core samples. It is apparent that the Bowland Shale is to the North West of the Tinker Lane site. IGas drilled through several “thick” coal seams at shallow depth, which tallies with the British Coal findings who at one time had aspirations to open cast the vicinity.
The exploratory well has been plugged and abandoned with the borehole cemented from bottom to top. The casing been cut off. The cellar is covered with a ventilated container. The adjacent spare conductor, which has casing down to 6o metres will also be cut off at the level of the cellar base as part of the restoration works and filled with concrete.
The water monitoring boreholes will remain in situ during the rehabilitation phase and monitoring of the waters will continue to a suite of analyses imposed as part of the permit.The boreholes were designed and drilled to a depth to monitor contamination from surface spills only. During the phase it is expected that with a set of results from before and after drilling the Environment Agency (EA) will then give permission for the boreholes to be filled and the permits as issued to IGas by the EA will be surrendered. The EA will advise the CLG if the results can be made available to the public.
De-manning of site is underway, security huts removed, two huts remain, HERAS fencing taken down, some hoarding remains, some already removed, internal gates taken down, wiring coming out, internet disconnected. A metal waste skip due on site for casing offcuts and damaged HERAS. By next week it is expected that site security will no longer be required, site secured with a gate and remaining HERAS. IGas then put an invitation to tender to (de)construction firms to rehabilitate the site expected tendering in February. This with a view to complete rehabilitation during the spring/summer, weather permitting.
The cellar will be broken down during the rehabilitation and removed in pieces, the subsurface water tank will also be removed. The hardcore (limestone) will be tested for contamination and if free of contamination will be recycled. 5 year aftercare involves restoring the site to meet the approval of NCC and the landowner and then visits by IGas to the site say once every 3 months in first year, then six monthly intervals after that to determine how the site is “ageing”.
A Hobby survey will be undertaken in March as restoration is earmarked for Spring/Summer 2019. The survey much as was undertaken last May will look for evidence of previous nesting sites in advance of the later hobby breeding season. During the season a further survey will be undertaken of any previously identified nest sites looking for evidence of activity.
The CLG has asked if there might be an overview of actual HGV movements compared to that projected in the application. It is hoped that NCC’s Enforcement Officer will come up with the figures as IGas have supplied him with vehicle movements every 4 weeks and it should be possible to present these to the CLG at the end of the restoration phase. We anticipate that future meetings of the CLG will be on a less frequent basis with perhaps 2 future meetings to tie things up.