More assurances are needed that vital agricultural land will be protected if ‘fracking’ goes ahead on the Fylde, a councillor said today.
Lancashire County Council is currently considering a planning application by energy company Cuadrilla to begin shale gas extraction at its site in Grange Road, Singleton.
Fylde is the first local authority to make its views on fracking – the process of injecting liquid into the ground at high pressure to release gas from shale rock – public.
Coun Tommy Threlfall, Fylde Council’s cabinet member for environment and partnerships, said: “Whether fracking ultimately comes or not is not a matter for Fylde Council but, if it does, it should be regulated properly and give proper protection to the community.
“We are asking if activities could affect immediately adjoining farmland.
“It would be appropriate for this to be investigated before any drilling starts.”
A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “We want to work closely with local authorities and regulators as we seek to unlock Lancashire’s energy potential. We are committed to being a responsible company, and to engaging with the local community at every opportunity. Our decision to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments on sites where we intend to hydraulically fracture and flow-test wells is an important part of that commitment.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Fylde Council as our exploration programme progresses and we’ll be presenting to the council’s shale gas working group early in September.”