AN ENERGY firm has been knocked back in its bid to buy valuable golf club land for a controversial gas project.
Halite Energy want to store gas under the Wyre Estuary, and were hoping members of Knott End Golf Club would agree to sell off part of the club’s land for the scheme.
But at a meeting on Monday night, the golf club’s members voted overwhelmingly to turn down Halite’s cash and keep their land.
Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson, a member of the golf club, said: “It was put to members and my understanding is they were overwhelmingly against the idea of selling or leasing land to Halite.
“I’m certainly pleased the club have listened to the members and taken on board what the members have had to say, because it was clear the view of the members was this land should not be sold or leased to the company.”
Halite plans to use 19 hollowed out salt caverns for the storage of up to 900 million cubic metres of natural gas under Wyre.
It is understood the company put three options before the golf club, requesting to buy 2.5 acres of land for £40,000 to be used for a wellhead, the second request was for 4.15 acres – at a price of £75,000 – for a wellhead and surrounding area.
The third option would have seen 4.5 acres for a wellhead and surrounding area leased to Halite for 50 years for £3,000 per year.
Halite submitted a planning application for its gas storage scheme to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) last week.
The IPC was set up in 2009 to take the decision process on national energy projects away from local authorities, and has 28 days to decide on the application and make a recommendation to the secretary of state for energy and climate change.
A spokesman for Halite said the company could not comment on Knott End Golf Club’s decision while its application was with the IPC.
She added: “Details relating to land ownership and acquisition form part of Halite’s application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission and will therefore be subject to consideration as part of the formal examination process.”