Fears mounting over government U-turn as swathe of Shropshire is under fracking licence

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has pledged to fight against fracking, warning that the Conservative U-turn could mean beautiful countryside could be turned into a gas rig.

Helen Morgan MP
Helen Morgan MP

Land the size of 928 football pitches is already licensed for fracking in North Shropshire and could potentially be drilled now the Government has lifted the ban.

Ms Morgan challenged Business and Energy secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg in the House of Commons on how local communities will be able to refuse drilling applications.

She said: “I am entirely against fracking and will fight against any plans for it in North Shropshire.

“The Conservatives are determined to turn our beautiful countryside into a gas rig despite knowing full well this will not bring energy prices down.

“They’ve given no reassurance that the community here will be able to oppose fracking on their own doorstep which is really concerning.

“Families in North Shropshire are suffering enough with the cost of living without having to deal with the dreadful impact of fracking on their local environment.

“Instead of forcing local communities to live with the risk of earthquakes, the Government should be focusing on insulating homes and investing in forms of energy that will reduce household bills.”

The licence covering parts of North Shropshire is held by INEOS and Island Gas and is valid until 2024.

As well as large parts of Cheshire it covers areas around Adderley - east of Whitchurch and north of Market Drayton.

The ‘zone of influence’ the area that might be affected includes Drayton and Whitchurch and goes down to just above Hodnet.

Helen Morgan added: “Jacob Rees Mogg and Liz Truss are once again proving that the Conservatives do not care for rural areas or the people who live there.”

The British Geological Survey report on fracking has been released today and concludes that forecasting the size of tremors caused by fracking remains difficult.

It comes eight years after protesters set up camp in Dudleston Heath, North Shropshire, in protest at plans to frack for coalbed methane gas there. That licence has expired.

The next round of licensing is expected to begin in October.

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