CAMPAIGNERS who have fought against underground gas storage are being given a chance to have their say.
A much-anticipated consultation period for Halite’s plans to store gas under the Wyre countryside opened yesterday, which will see six exhibitions across the area showcasing a new scheme.
And the company – which resurfaced as Halite after Canatxx had its plans rejected three times – claim residents are five times more likely to be hit by lightning than experience a gas explosion in Wyre.
Keith Budinger, newly-appointed chief executive of Halite, said: “This project will be massively benfical to the community.
“If plans are approved, we will need around 250 workers from the local area.
“And the original plans have been hugely scaled down, by almost half, after we listened to feedback from local people.”
In 2003, Canatxx’s proposal included 38 underground caverns near Preesall, and Halite’s provide for 19, which will hold 900m cubic metres of gas.
The exhibitions will reveal exactly what safety measures have been taken, and where exactly construction sites will be built.
Mr Budinger added: “We have undertaken extensive geological reports and had thorough risk assessments.
“This concluded the storage facility is five times more likely to be hit by lightning than cause a fatality.”
But campaigners from Protect Wyre have already slammed the consultation, claiming a community liaison panel they were invited to form had restrictions on numbers.
They also claimed questions asked of Halite experts had not been answered.
Nearly 14,000 households will be sent invitations to attend one of the exhibition events.
After the consultation, which ends on May 27, Halite will submit their plans to the Infrastructure Planning Commission – a new Government body which decides planning applications which have national significance.
n Stalmine Village Hall, Tuesday May 10, 10am – 7pm
n St Oswald’s Village Hall, Knott End, Friday May 13, 10am – 7pm
n St Oswald’s Village Hall, Knott End, Saturday May 14, 10 – 4pm
n North Euston Hotel, Tuesday May 17, 10am – 7pm
n Pilling Memorial Hall, Thursday May 19, 10am – 7pm
n Thornton Little Theatre, Monday May 23, 10am– 7pm