A leading fracking firm is to start drilling on the former site of a huge explosive factory, in a decision described as “beyond comprehension” by the local MP.
Dart Energy, which is expected to begin drilling this weekend, says the site is “absolutely” safe. But opponents say there is a risk of unexploded bombs and that safety tests have not yet been completed. The revelations add to concerns about the regulation of “unconventional” gas exploration in the UK, which has seen deformed wells go unreported, planning rules breached and trespassing.
The 500-acre Royal Ordnance Factory Ranskill, near Daneshill Lakes in Nottinghamshire, was one of three built to produce cordite during world war two. Another explosive, RDX, was produced after the war and the site was broken up in 1975 and is now mostly woodland and farmland.
The original planning statement submitted for work on the site claimed “there are no recorded past workings on the site”. Dart Energy, which is working with oil giant Total to exploit shale gas reserves elsewhere in the UK, says it does not intend to frack at the Daneshill site but wants to use another unconventional technique to extract gas from coal deposits.
Fracking firm to drill on former explosives site