Aurora Energy Resources have advised Halsall Parish Council:
We now plan to carry out a 3D geophysical survey over part of the licence area as shown on the attached map. We hope to acquire the survey this summer. The data will be used to progress our technical understanding of the licence area, prior to making any application for future exploratory drilling.
Acquisition of the survey involves the laying out of an array of geophones (recording devices) across the survey area and the recording of reflected signals generated from an array of seismic sources. The sources are generated by small buried charges or by specialised tractor-like vehicles fitted with vibrating plates.
Surveys of this nature are permitted developments under Schedule 2, Part 22, Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 and therefore do not require specific planning permission. We expect the acquisition to take approximately four to six weeks to complete.
I appreciate that the survey may raise some questions from local residents and businesses. Further information on Aurora and its operations can most easily be found by reference to our website, www.aurora-energy-resources.com . We will be adding further details on the geophysical survey to the website as this becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any specific queries about the survey or Aurora’s activities in Lancashire, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Aurora have informed the local MPs and the development control groups at both Sefton Council and Lancashire County Council of our intention to acquire this survey. We are also informing the relevant members of Sefton Borough Council and West Lancashire Borough Council about the proposed work.
In addition, the survey contractor will approach local landowners to obtain consent to access land, and liaise with emergency services, local authorities and other bodies as required. Should the results of the survey prove to be encouraging, it is likely that we will subsequently seek planning permission to drill a number of exploratory wells. Ahead of any planning application for drilling, Aurora will fully engage with relevant stakeholders in the community, as set out in the UKOOG Community Engagement Charter, a copy of which I have attached for your information.
We have asked for a better map! The words in bold are way out of date because landowners have been approached last year and we understand that 4 have denied access to their land. We await the response from DECC to our Freedom of Information request relating to granting of “ancillary access rights”, i.e. access without permission of the landowner, which they should reply to by 4th May 2016:
You kindly responded to my previous FOI request on this subject on 16th July 2015 as follows:“I can confirm that only one application for ancillary access rights has been made to the Secretary of State. However, for the purpose of clarification, I would like to note that the application originally received related to 46 landowners. This same application was revised on 11th of June and narrowed down to cover only 4 landowners.”Please can you advise the outcome of Aurora’s application for ancillary access rights and, if granted, when this expires?