Nottinghamshire approves application to explore for shale gas

Nottinghamshire County Council has approved Dart Energy's planning application to drill an exploratory for shale gas well on land off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth. 

The site is around 1.5km north-west of Barnby Moor and 3km south-east of Blyth and is currently open farm land. Exploratory drilling is the first step toward hydraulic fracturing, know as 'fracking', although the site does not have permission to frack as yet.

Fracking in the area is strongly opposed by a number of local community environmental groups, including Frack Free Nottinghamshire who said on their website, of the decision: 'Frack Free Nottinghamshire are beyond disappointed by the decision of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning Committee to approve the application by Dart Energy for exploratory drilling at the Tinker Lane site in Bassetlaw. This is the second approval in Bassetlaw, forming the start of an industrial gas field. This approval is despite overwhelming local opposition to the application, with 99.5% of those consulted by Nottinghamshire County Council being opposed to the application.'

Nottingham City Council Pilots Energy Efficient Homes of the Future

Four hundred homes in Sneinton are part of a European project to make them warmer, cheaper to run and fit for the future.

 The £5m project, called REMOURBAN, is piloting new technologies to make a step change in the amount of energy older houses use, so they’re ready for low carbon standards in 2050. The project will reduce residents’ bills and make them warmer through innovative insulation techniques, and in some cases energy generation and battery storage.

What Newark Cresent will look like once external solid wall insulation is installed

Three Nottingham City Homes neighbourhoods across Sneinton have been identified for the energy upgrades. All tenures, social, leaseholder and owner occupier will be included in the pilot. The first 122 homes are already complete, with homes in Windmill Lane getting external wall insulation and LED lighting, and work is about to start on the same measures at nine apartment blocks on Newark Crescent.

Four low rise apartment blocks - Morley, Keswick, Haywood and Byron Courts - will be connected to Nottingham’s energy-from-waste district heating network, along with receiving solar panels, battery storage and external wall insulation. The apartments will be warmer than before but have lower bills and all their energy needs will be fully met from low carbon sources. This scheme is also piloting the concept of low temperature district heating which could enable Nottingham to roll out this low carbon energy source to many more domestic properties in the future, at a much lower cost. 

Finally, the most innovative solutions will be applied to nine houses which will receive a “whole-house” solution which reduces their net energy usage to zero through a variety of extensive energy efficiency and energy generation measures.  Part of the innovation is how the works are funded, with the household paying an ‘Energy plan.’ This means the resident has a much more comfortable home, and a flat rate cost for energy which will not rise significantly when energy bills rise, but it means the landlord will receive an on-going income which will help to fund works to more homes. 

 A number of organisations across the city are working together to deliver this project, including Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Energy Partnership, locally based renewable energy company Sasie Ltd, and system solution firm Infohub Ltd.

Mrs Margaret Langsdale, a Nottingham City Homes tenant from Windmill Lane who has recently had external wall insulation and LED lights installed said: ‘The biggest change is that the house is much warmer. Before the external wall insulation as soon as the heating was turned off it would be cold, now the house holds the heat for much longer. The gas bills have gone down a bit but the biggest benefit is that we get a lot more heat for the money that we do spend on bills.

‘The LED lighting has been great; the rooms are much brighter especially the kitchen and bathroom which need enclosed lights and the light was quite dull before. The electricity bill has gone down since the LEDs were installed.’

Buxton Home Energy Check Volunteers Trained and Ready to Go

Householders in Buxton are set to get free help to reduce their energy bill and tackle their carbon footprint over the next year after eight volunteers from Transition Buxton completed a Home Energy Check course last weekend.

Caroline Harmon of Marches Energy Agency, a Midlands-based environmental charity, facilitated a course covering all the practicalities of visiting people's homes and helping householders work out how to reduce their energy usage. The day included a practice visit to a home in the area to put their new skills and knowledge to the test.

The group are now looking for homes to visit. If you think you'd benefit from a visit, keep an eye on their website. They'll be taking bookings soon.

Funding to Boost Nottinghamshire Green Transport Plans

Nottinghamshire County Council has been awarded £845,000 in government funding to deliver an ambitious plan helping more people to cycle, walk and use the bus to access work and training opportunities in Mansfield and Newark. ‘Get Moving Nottinghamshire’ has been awarded the money from the Department for Transport’s Access Fund. The funding forms part of a wider £2.5m scheme which will see the introduction of 12.8km of new cycle routes in Newark and Mansfield, a range of public transport incentives, walking and cycle maps and travel information packs.

The county council has also secured £150,000 from the Access Fund as part of a separate bid led by Nottingham City Council. This funding will be used to encourage Daybrook and West Bridgford residents to make journeys on foot, bicycle or bus to help improve air quality in these areas which are close to the City.

Climate Change a Regular Feature in Local Media

The Sheffield Telegraph has begun publishing a weekly feature on how different groups and organisations are meeting the Big Challenge of climate and environment. The Sounzaboutright programme on Sheffield Live! Radio features an interview with the week’s contributor between 4pm and 5pm each Thursday.

Read past articles here:

Listen to recent interviews here: