Gas storage evidence call

The Wyre estuary, which is at the centre of Halite's gas storage plans, (below)  planning inspector Paul Hudson and (bottom) Ian Mulroy of Protect Wyre Group.
The Wyre estuary, which is at the centre of Halite's gas storage plans, (below) planning inspector Paul Hudson and (bottom) Ian Mulroy of Protect Wyre Group.
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A PLANNING body set to decide the fate of gas storage company Halite has asked for more evidence.

The company now has four weeks to provide more information on issues including geology, noise and landscape impacts.

Planning inspector Paul Hudson

Planning inspector Paul Hudson

The planning inspectorate has also asked for evidence backing up assurances from Halite that future shale gas exploration on the Fylde coast will not pose a threat to the gas storage project.

Last month a six-month examination of Halite’s plans by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate began.

And this week, Paul Hudson, lead member of the Panel of Examining Inspectors, published the initial set of questions being asked in the examination and set out the timetable for the coming months.

He said: “The examining body has decided to ask a number of questions and to receive further information about matters it considers relevant to the application.

Ian Mulroy of Protect Wyre Group

Ian Mulroy of Protect Wyre Group

“The authority may write to interested parties with further questions or with a request for more information as the examination progresses.”

Responses must be received on or before Wednesday June 6.

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In its questions relating to seismic risk, the Inspectorate asked: “Was the possible effects of the shale gas exploration last year in the Fylde area considered as part of the Seismic Desk Study and where is the evidence for the statement that ‘such small magnitude earthquake near Blackpool poses very little hazard to the gas storage project’.

The examination body has also asked questions regarding the impact of brine discharge to the Irish Sea, the number of vehicles accessing the site and the noise impacts of a drilling rig on caravan parks at Stanah.

Following rejections of plans by American firm Canatxx, its successor company Halite lodged a slimmed-down version with the Independent Planning Commission – now referred to as the National infrastructure of the Planning Inspectorate.

It plans to store up to 900 million cubic metres of natural gas, including 600 million cubic metres of working gas under fields Over Wyre.

The deadline for residents to channel objections through the Protect Wyre has now been extended to Monday due the huge response received.

Ian Mulroy, Protect Wyre Chairman, said: “We are getting a good response and because of that we are running slightly late.

“We have now got to analyse the responses and put them onto spread sheets to send off by the end of the month.

“But if anyone would still like to channel their objections through us we will receive responses over the weekend.”

Visit www.pwgroup.org.uk.

The Planning Inspectorate must receive any written representations from registered parties by Wednesday June 6.

The examination is expected to close on Thursday October 25.

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