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Warning of more Shropshire gas drilling bids to come

North Shropshire | News | Published:

Campaigners fighting plans to drill a temporary coal-bed methane exploration borehole near Ellesmere are warning Shropshire residents that other applications may soon be submitted in the region.

Chris Hesketh, member of campaign group Frack Free Dudleston, said the drilling plans in Dudleston could become a threat to almost all of Shropshire.

He said: "In March 2014 the Government consulted on the 14th round of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDL). These give permission to drilling companies to drill for shale (fracking) and coal-bed methane exploration.

"The results of the 14th round are known but have been held back from publication until after the election. The people of Shropshire have a right to know what is in store for them before they cast their vote."

Mr Hesketh said a public meeting that will be held in Whitchurch next week, was called in order to inform the public.

The meeting will be hosted by Duncan Kerr, parliamentary candidate for the Green Party, along with Mr Hesketh who hopes to include an update on the situation at Dudleston Heath.

The meeting will be held at the Whitchurch Civic Centre at 7.30pm on Monday.

Mr Hesketh added: "The presentation will explore other options and how they offer solutions to the energy crisis.

"The style will be informal and everyone is welcome, whether or not you wish to have any connection to the Green Party."

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Graeme Currie, Labour Party candidate in North Shropshire, has recently spoken about his opposition to the drilling plans.

He said: "I am 100 per cent against the gas drilling/fracking plans for North Shropshire.

"I have attended and spoke at both the public meetings at Criftins Village Hall and at St Martins last year and attended the lobby of the Shropshire Council Planning Committee to show my opposition.

"I have also visited the Dudleston Castle Protection Camp in the field to express my support for them. I have registered my detailed objection to the Dart planning application. I have lobbied national politicians on this matter."

The decision on whether Dart Energy will be given permission to operate an exploratory borehole for coal-bed methane extraction in Dudleston will be made by the planning inspectorate on a date yet to be set.

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