Vale fracking: ‘Don’t take this gamble’

MHBG-13-10-11 Fracking''Cuadrilla Gas site near Singleton.
MHBG-13-10-11 Fracking''Cuadrilla Gas site near Singleton.
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An environmental campaigner has dismissed the potential arrival of a controversial gas extraction process which can cause earthquakes as a ‘gamble’.

Drilling in the Vale could begin in the next 16 to 18 months and Friends of the Earth regional campaigner Brenda Pollack said: “The earlier the better to raise the awareness of this issue. It can cause earth tremors and there is a lot of water and land pollution.

“It’s unconventional gas. It’s a gamble, it’s unwanted and unnecessary.

“It would be better if the Government gave proper confidence to renewable energy companies.

“There’s enough resources that we actually have. Three quarters of our energy comes from renewable energy.”

District Labour leader Robin Stuchbury had put forward a motion demanding that Aylesbury Vale District Council had a stake in fracking negotiations, but this was dismissed at full council.

Aylesbury Vale District Council cabinet member for strategic planning Carole Paternoster said she had discussed the issue with her counterpart at county, Peter Hardy, and dismissed fears that any planning and licencing applications have been made as ‘rumours’.

But it is thought that a 30-square-mile radius focused around Calvert is one area thought to be under consideration by the Government for use as a shale gas reserve.

Controversy has surrounded fracking with drilling being stopped in Blackpool in 2011 due to earthquake fears. Currently there is only one site in operation in Lancashire.

Mr Stuchbury said: “There’s enough problems in the Vale already. This is our children’s future we are talking about here.

“The fact is there’s little knowledge and has been no consultation.

“This motion costs nothing but the result of this could end up costing something.”

Ms Pollack said there have been cases in the south east where licence applications have been passed with district councils admitting little knowledge on the issues.

She added: “Although this is at county council level everybody should be consulted. People need to make sure they are educated.”