An application for the drilling of a borehole to remove a core of coal in Borras is set to be granted by the Wrexham Planning Committee next week.
The ‘exploration borehole’ would be used to remove a core of coal for sampling and restoration of the site ‘following cessation of the drilling operations’.
The site itself is within agricultural use and can be accessed from Borras Road, which is a rural classified road.
The proposal would involve drilling down to a depth of around 1170m and ‘would drill through different geological strata, including the Kinnerton formation which is a major aquifer’.
The erection of a drilling rig which would be extend up to a maximum of 27 metres in height. Along with this other equipment that would be imported the site include a water and cement pump, a portacabin, tool storage, fire extinguishers and flood lighting for the drill floor.
It is estimated that this operation would take between 60 to 75 days. Over this period of time drilling would take place 24 hours per day.
A number of comments have been raised by residents / community councils in Holt and Gresford. These include the levels of noise that may occur as a result of the drilling.
Gresford Community Council are said in the report to: ‘Have asked a number of detailed questions regarding highways, potential of water pollution, excessive noise and increased heavy traffic.”
Alongside these, at the time the report was written it states that 28 letters / emails of objection and concern had been received. This included a letter of objection from the MP for Wrexham and a second from the North Wales Assembly Member.
The comments largely echo those from Holt and Gresford’s Community Councils, however they also include concerns on the release of gas, lack of baseline date, the number of hours it will be in operation for, pollution of both soil and water and the potential risk to human health.
Within the application is states that there are a number of houses within 400m of the proposed site that may be affected by any potential noise.
Along with this the application acknowledges that there may be the risk of dust due to the level of drilling, but states that if this occurs water would be sprayed on it and that the drilling will be carefully controlled.
The Planning Committee will meet to discuss the application on Monday at 6:30pm. You can read the full application here.