KM8 Water Monitoring Borehole Application – how to object

What’s this planning application for?

KMgreenglowAs you may know, Third Energy are planning to frack at their KM8 well at Kirby Misperton. The first planning application related to this is for some water monitoring boreholes at the site.

This application is due to be heard at the Planning Committee on THURSDAY 1st SEPTEMBER, so there’s no time to lose!

The full text of the application reads: Installation of up to five (5) water monitoring boreholes comprising three shallow boreholes (approximately 10 metres in depth) within the KM8 Wellsite, one intermediate borehole (approximately 50 metres in depth) and one deep borehole (approximately 220 metres in depth) within the adjoining KM1 Wellsite.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE MAIN APPLICATION FOR FRACKING AT KIRBY MISPERTON. This is now ‘live’ and we will be posting guidelines on how to object, and points to object to, on our dedicated KM8 page.

So why should we object to water monitoring boreholes?

In the covering letter, Third Energy that: “The groundwater monitoring boreholes are required in support of a proposal to hydraulically fracture the KM8 well, which is subject to a separate planning application and environmental permit.”

Given that these boreholes will only be necessary if Third Energy are given permission to frack the KM8 well, it is our view that any decision to approve this application would amount to pre-determination of any subsequent fracking application.

Or, to put it another way, if NYCC approved this application, it would be a clear signal that the Planning Committee had already made up its mind about whether to allow fracking at the KM8 well before examining all the evidence or ruling on the main KM8 application.

There would be no point in drilling monitoring boreholes if the company wasn’t allowed to go on to frack – one doesn’t make sense without the other, so we feel they should be considered at the same time.

It’s worth noting that in Lancashire, the monitoring borehole applications for Little Plumpton and Roseacre were considered at the same time as the main fracking applications, not in advance. You can find more on this on Drill or Drop.

We therefore feel that this application for monitoring boreholes should be deferred, so that it can be considered at the same time as the fracking application, not in advance.

OK, I see your point. What other problems are there?

keep km8 frack freeThe KMA wellsite, which houses both the KM1 and KMA wells, has been in existence since the mid-1980s, and has been producing conventional gas at various times over the last 30 years. Given that this is an old wellsite, there may have already been some contamination and leakage of gas into the water surrounding the well over the last three decades.

The history of the site makes establishing of a baseline for groundwater quality at this site effectively meaningless, as the water tested could already have been subject to some contamination in the past due to the drilling activities on-site. (This is different to Little Plumpton and Roseacre, which would be brand new green-field sites.)

You can read the whole application on the NYCC Planning Portal.

So how do I object to this planning application?

Send an email to and put this application number in the subject line: NY/2015/0116/FUL

Here is a suggested format for your email. It doesn’t have to be very long, a few sentences would be fine, but your objection will be more effective if it is in your own words. Please be polite and use moderate language – abusive emails will not help our cause with the Planning Committee.

1 Say who you are (or which group your represent), where you live, etc.

2 Say that if the NYCC approves this application now, it would be a clear signal that they had already decided to allow fracking at Kirby Misperton without hearing all the evidence, which would be a clear case of pre-determination. If the NYCC decides to approve the main fracking application, this may be challenged in court at a later date.

You can also make the point that in Lancashire these were considered at the same time (see above).

3 You can also add comments on the fact that baseline monitoring data obtained from the site would not be reliable because there might already be contamination from conventional gas production (see above).

4 If you live near the well, you can also talk about your worries about how fracking will affect your day-to-day life. If you live elsewhere in North Yorkshire, you can talk about the effect that you think fracking will have on the area. If you live in another part of the UK, you may wish to talk about why you are opposed to fracking in general, and how fracking might affect your likelihood of visiting North Yorkshire.

5 Finally, ask the planning committee to defer the application so that it is considered at the same time, rather than in advance of, the main fracking application. (You could of course ask the NYCC to reject the application, but we feel that it is far more likely that the Committee will defer this, rather than reject it outright.)

This application is due to be heard at the Planning Committee on THURSDAY 1st SEPTEMBER, so there’s no time to lose!

Here’s a copy of the Frack Free Ryedale objection:
Frack Free Ryedale response to planning application NY.2015.0116.FUL

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