Minerals Plan: Key Issues & Options

Derby & Derbyshire Minerals Core Strategy: Key Issues & Options

How do we manage demand for oil & gas developments?

7.51 Government policy on planning control of land based exploration, appraisal, development and extraction of oil and gas resources in England is set out in Annex 4 of MPS1, published in 2006. As the above ground development is often small scale and temporary, the environmental impact of oil and gas development is (compared to say an aggregates quarry) relatively limited.

Conventional Oil & Gas

7.52 Government advice seeks to realise the maximum potential of the UK's conventional oil and gas resource in an environmentally acceptable manner. However, as no production targets are set and as we are not able to define resource areas for hydrocarbons (as potential prospects can only be identified after extensive exploration activity) there is much uncertainty surrounding the potential future role that Derbyshire might play in helping to meet the UK's need for this resource.

7.53 MPS1 states that conventional oil and gas development consists of three phases - exploration, appraisal and production. Each phase requires a separate planning permission. The Minerals Core Strategy will need to include policies that clearly distinguish between these three phases.

7.54 In the existing Minerals Local Plan this issue is dealt with by the inclusion of two separate policies, MP13 which controls proposals for mineral exploration generally and MP35 which controls proposals for production, processing and transporting. Both policies have criteria that ensure proposals will not have an unacceptable impact on the environment.  Policy MP35 has more detailed criteria designed to secure this objective including whether the proposal is consistent with an approved overall scheme for the appraisal of, or production from, the area, and whether satisfactory arrangements have been made for the avoidance of seepage pollution, the off site disposal of drilling mud and the flaring and disposal of unwanted gas.

7.55 Including a similar criteria based approach in this plan seems likely to be the best way forward.

Issue 10: Managing How We Make Provision for Conventional Oil & Gas (a)

Do you agree that we should include a policy for conventional oil and gas development which sets out criteria similar to those in the existing Minerals Local Plan (Policies MP13 & MP35)

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Yes
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No
0%

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Issue 10: Managing How We Make Provision for Conventional Oil & Gas (b)

Please explain why you came to that decision, and if you chose 'no' please suggest an alternative approach that we could take

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New Coal Exploitation Technologies

7.56 There are four main ways of recovering gas from coal to provide energy, namely extraction of coalbed methane, coal mine methane or abandoned mine methane and underground coal gasification.

7.57 The DTI, in 2004, published research into the UK resource for new coal exploitation technologies. In Derbyshire the report concludes that in the South Derbyshire Coalfield there are no working mines and therefore no potential for coal mine methane. It also suggests that abandoned mine methane and coalbed methane prospects are poor. In the North Derbyshire Coalfield, abandoned mine methane projects have been initiated at several sites in the area, with one at Whitwell Colliery still operational, indicating good potential.

7.58 The potential underground coal gasification resource is at present unknown, but there may be some potential which warrants further investigation.

7.59 MPS1 requires that we map the extent of the coalfield with reserves at depths below the surface of between 200m-1500m and of areas which are licensed for coal bed methane by the Coal Authority. We should also list the principle constraints likely to affect any proposed production and processing sites within those areas.

7.60 Given that methods of exploiting the resources mentioned above are still evolving, it is difficult to predict their viability in Derbyshire or their potential impacts over the plan period.  Therefore, the best approach to deal with this issue is also likely to be a criteria based policy, similar to that currently contained within the Minerals Local Plan which sets out criteria for assessing the environmentally acceptability of proposals for new coal exploitation technologies.

Issue 11: Managing How We Make Provision for New Coal Technologies (a)

Do you agree that we should include a policy for new coal exploitation technologies which sets out criteria similar to those for conventional oil and gas developments; as in the existing Minerals Local Plan policy MP35?

Option Results Count
Yes
100%
No
0%

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Issue 11: Managing How We Make Provision for New Coal Technologies (b)

Please explain why you came to that decision, and if you chose 'no' please suggest an alternative approach that we could take

6 people have answered this question.

View the responses to this question.