A family have claimed that proposed fracking in Eckington has turned their dream of into a nightmare.
Wendy Greenwood and her 8 year old Son Oliver discovered their new home in Marsh Lane, Derbyshire late last Autumn.
Contracts were exchanged on January 10th 2017 but just six days later,on the 16th of January, she discovered plans to develop a Fracking site a few hundred meters from her home.
The multinational Chemical firm INEOS has identified an area of privately-owned land off Bramleymoor Lane as a potential site to drill for shale gas. The site is located 0.5km to the south-west of Marsh Lane, near Eckington, in North East Derbyshire.
Wendy explained how she found out about fracking, “I was driving to work and spotted a small ‘No Fracking Way’ sign in Middle Handley [close to the new home]. I started to panic and pulled up to investigate online on my phone. To my shock and horror I found out about the proposal. I felt so numb- almost as though I was in a dream!”
Wendy could not believe that the proposed Fracking site had not come up on the Property Searches during the purchasing process. When she questioned this with her solicitors she discovered that Fracking would not show up on any Searches until it was much further on its development.
Seismic Testing, which is the initial stage of the assessment process used by INEOS, does not require planning permission and therefore would not show up on a search. In fact if Wendy did the same Searches today, nothing about Fracking would show up.
Over the next couple of days she did, what she describes, as an intensive “crash course in Fracking” on the Internet and it soon became apparent she was about to buy a property that would at best lose a substantial amount of its value, plunging her immediately into negative equity from day one.
She considered backing out of the sale altogether and losing tens of thousands of pounds of deposit and fees, but, after additional research and taking legal advise, she discovered that pulling out of the sale st such a late stage could place her in an even more serious financial predicament down the road.
Wendy decided to complete the purchase of her new home and join local anti-Fracking groups including Eckington Against Fracking and Dronfield Against Fracking.
When asked if she knew then what she knew now would she have put an offer on that house or any house in the area, she stated “most definitely not!”.
Oliver, having seen his mum distressed by this situation took it upon himself to do what her could to help his mum. He put pen to paper and wrote a heart felt letter to the Prime Minister asking her for help.
Oliver courageously read his letter out to a packed Local Parish Council Meeting on the 24th of January 2017 at the Eckington Civic Centre to a standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and as Oliver handed a copy of his letter to the Councillors they commended him on his bravery and initiative. Everyone shook his hand.
We understand that Oliver’s example has been inspirational to the parents and children of Eckington and Marsh Lane who are to follow suit and put pen to paper asking for a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss Fracking and share their very real concerns.
The company who have proposed the Fracking application for Marsh Lane, INEOS, say they will meet residents this Tuesday, 31st Jan to discuss their concerns.
Tom Pickering, INEOS Shale Operations Director says: “This is the first of a number of events open to the whole community. We have previously held meetings with parish councillors, which proved very successful. The exhibition is an opportunity for residents to meet with us to discuss our plans in the area and address any concerns they may have, before we submit any planning application.”
Listen to Peak FM's full interview with Wendy and Oliver here: