A councillor’s proposal for a moratorium on fracking in the UK has been welcomed as a “no brainer” by campaigners against the controversial process.
Coun Liz Oades, who represents Kirkham South on Fylde Council, will put forward the notice of motion at a full meeting of the authority’s representatives on Monday.
The motion proposes: “That Fylde Borough Council requests the Government to put a moratorium in place in relation to fracking operations until such time that all regulatory, health and community impacts are resolved.”
However Cuadrilla, the energy company which wants to drill test wells with a view to carrying out fracking at two sites within the authority’s boundaries, Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, claims it has already “comprehensively” dealt with the concerns expressed by Coun Oades.
Barry Warner, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, has welcomed Coun Oades’s proposal
He said: “It’s such a sensible suggestion I’m surprised it’s not been made already.
“Obviously everybody would accept that fracking’s controversial and there are some very serious, very important questions on the health front, on the emissions front and for somebody like me it seems absolutely crazy that we might go ahead until we’ve bottomed those out.
He added: “It’s a no brainer.”
Fracking is the process of injecting water and chemicals at high pressure into shale rock deep beneath the surface to release gas.
Cuadrilla says its environmental statements for Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood detail the findings of an extensive environmental impact assessment of the proposed sites, which was carried out by experts at Arup, an independent engineering and environmental consultancy.
The firm claims the assessment “comprehensively” addresses Coun Oades’s concerns.
A spokesman said: “The Government has already effectively carried out an 18 month moratorium during which the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, arguably the most respected scientific bodies in the world, were commissioned to conduct a report on the potential impact of shale gas operations.
“It concluded the health, safety and environmental risks can be managed effectively in the UK in the presence of operational best practice underpinned by strong regulation.”