Estelle to start a public inquiry into shale gas exploration at a site in Ellesmere Port

11 Jan 2019

Planning and Environment, Public Law and Judicial Review

Estelle Dehon will start a public inquiry on 15 January acting for the group Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton. Cheshire West and Chester Planning Committee voted against allowing extended well testing for shale gas exploration at a site in Ellesmere Port. IGas has appealed against this decision.

Estelle will be leading evidence on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impact, air quality and public health impacts as well as on the social harm of shale gas exploration from some of the leading experts including Professor Kevin Anderson, Professor Andrew Watterson and Dr Anna Szolucha.

For the first time in an inquiry, she will also be leading on the technical geological evidence from Prof David Smythe about the nature of the source rock (the Pentre Chert) and from Robin Grayson about the potential for release of hydrogen sulphide.

Our barristers have extensive experience in this field.

Last year, Estelle represented Gayzer Frackman in his Court of Appeal challenge to the Government’s decision to grant permission for the UK’s first shale gas exploration in Lancashire. Dr Ashley Bowes also acted in that litigation, representing Preston New Road Action Group and instructed by Leigh Day.

Along with Matt Lewin, Estelle also represented Friends of the Earth in the inquiry brought by Cuadrilla against the decisions of Lancashire County Council to refuse planning permission for fracking developments in Lancashire.

Robin Green and Jack Parker represented Roseacre Awareness Group and Ashley represented Preston New Road Action Group, who all oppose the grant of planning permission. Ben Du Feu also represented the Roseacre Awareness Group at the public inquiry into the Roseacre Wood site in April 2018.

Some of our planning barristers have responded to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s inquiry into planning guidance on fracking. You can read the response here.