Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has vowed to fight the "environmental vandalism" of fracking as it was announced that a planning application to frack for gas in Great Altcar was imminent.
The energy company Aurora wrote to the MP to give notice of their plan to submit an application to Lancashire County Council to frack for gas on Altcar Moss in West Lancs just a mile from Formby in the Sefton Central constituency. Aurora wrote that the proposed development would comprise the construction of an access track and wellsite, where drilling, testing and fracking would take place in the search for gas within the rock under the ground. The MP said: "I was appalled to receive this letter confirming plans for fracking near Formby. I voted against the fracking regulations in Parliament and will be opposing this planning application.
”This government continues to allow the environmental vandalism of fracking when we face a climate emergency. Fracking will only make it harder to deal with the crisis facing our planet and this planning application should be rejected. We need to cut the production of Carbon Dioxide to as close to zero as we can. Fracking to produce gas for burning is precisely the opposite of what is needed. We must invest in renewable energy, which is why the plans in the Liverpool City Region from Labour’s Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram are so important.“
"It is also very important to have strong local policies to oppose fracking. Labour-controlled Sefton Council has three times voted against fracking, confirming they would not approve any applications for fracking in Sefton. Yet the FRAG controlled Formby Parish Council has produced a neighbourhood plan which says that fracking could be supported.”
"The FRAG plan makes fracking near Formby more likely, not less.”
“Labour is standing up for Formby and we will ban fracking when we are in government. In the meantime we will oppose the fracking companies and their plans and will oppose the FRAG neighbourhood plan and any support FRAG are giving to fracking.”
The letter to the MP read: "Aurora Energy Resources has today given notice that the company will submit a planning application to Lancashire County Council, as the relevant Mineral Planning Authority, for a wellsite, at Sutton’s Lane, Great Altcar, West Lancashire.”
"The proposed development comprises the construction of an access track and wellsite, and the drilling, hydraulic fracture stimulation and testing of two exploratory boreholes to evaluate the potential to produce hydrocarbons from deeply buried Carboniferous-age rocks."
The application can be viewed at Lancashire County Council's County Hall in Preston or via the online planning register: http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/. Members of the public can also contact Aurora on 0800 170 1550 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Esterson MP can be contacted by email at email@example.com or at Space Solutions Business Centre, Sefton Lane Industrial Estate, Maghull, L317dg
TOP PIC: Bill Esterson MP with protestors at the proposed fracking site on Altcar Moss