We don’t want fracking on land we own says council

How peaceful is a protest when a company is driven to surrender its business contracts?
How peaceful is a protest when a company is driven to surrender its business contracts?

Ashfield District council has agreed in principle not to allow fracking on land it owns.

The authority made the pledge at a meeting this week after it was called to underlined its Green credentials and make its official position clear on fracking.

Councillor Robert Sears-Piccavey, Selston Independents member for Underwood, asked the authority to acknowledge “the growing public concern” that unconventional gas extraction entails significant risks to the environment and to the health and wellbeing of neighbouring communities.”

He said: “These include earth tremors, potential air pollution, pollution of water resources and increased industrialisation of the countryside.

“There appears to be insufficient regulation and scrutiny of current unconventional gas extraction operations in the UK. It is the duty of the council to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and the integrity of our natural environment and to play its part in supporting sustainable energy for future generations.”

Among the pledges agreed was that the council will not in principle allow any exploratory drilling fracking or coal-bed extraction on land it owns or controls.

The council will also strongly encourage Nottinghamshire County Council to assess planning applications for the exploration or extraction of gas against appropriate planning policies.

Although the district council has no direct powers as a planning authority when considering applications for fracking, it is expected the county council takes on board its representations.

The motion adds: “The council aims to take steps within its statutory powers to harvest the abundant sustainable and renewable energy resources available such as wind and river weirs and aims to work towards becoming fossil-free by 2025.”

The motion also calls for the Government to reconsider its scrapping of clean energy subsidies, to reintroduce rules on zero-carbon housing and tax incentives on green cars and to reinstate the energy efficiency budget and increasing investment in renewables in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.