Shropshire gas drilling ruling date set

A date for the final ruling over plans to drill a temporary exploratory borehole for coal bed methane in Shropshire has been revealed.

Shropshire gas drilling ruling date set

Shropshire Council has said it anticipates that the planning application will be considered at the next North Planning Committee meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, December 16.

Last month members of the committee unanimously said they were minded to oppose plans for a temporary exploratory borehole for coal bed methane in Dudleston Heath, near Ellesmere, with a decision set to be taken at a later date.

They said the impact on local people and the environment was too significant for it to be approved.

But Dart Energy, which is behind the plans, has insisted any work carried out would be on a small scale and would be carried out safely.

Over 100 people attended the last meeting and Chris Hesketh, spokesman for Frack Free Dudleston, said he would expect the same turnout this time.

He said: "This is a hugely important issue for the whole area. Everyone wants to find out what the outcome is going to be.

"I am intending to speak again at the meeting and get across the view of the residents that we do not want this planning application to go ahead.

"This meeting is a crucial moment for the village."

Mr Hesketh said since the last meeting the group has been gathering more evidence to back up their argument that no drilling or fracking should take place in Shropshire.

Before the meeting Shropshire Council received more than 500 letters of objection from the public and one in support. It also received a petition which was signed by 239 people.

Dart Energy says the drilling operation would last for a maximum of 60 days and the land would then be restored.

Mr Hesketh said: "Since the meeting more reports and warnings have been issued which further backs up our point.

"The planning officer previously did not go into detail about our concerns so I will be bringing this up at the meeting.

"Hopefully the councillors will go along with the decision they made last time but we mustn't count our chickens.

"We are still working hard to prove our point and fingers crossed the outcome will be positive next month."

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