town councillors raise concerns over fracking plans
town councillors have this week expressed concern that the controversial
process of fracking for shale gas could begin in our area.
comes after Kevin Ogilvie-White from anti-fracking group 'Frack
Free Exmoor, Quantocks and Sedgemoor', pictured here, gave
a presentation to councillors at their latest meeting this week.
controversial process of fracking involves high-pressure water and
rock solution being forced into drilled holes into rocks deep below
the ground, which force out the gas from the fractured ground.
said: "The fracking we are concerned about has not been going
in safely for decades as the industry and government will have you
are several well known technical problems that have not been solved
- including what to do with the hazardous slickwater produced in
the production, which includes 1000 chemicals including lead, cadmium
cement wall-casing of the walls has a high failure rate, with 1
in 20 wells having failures in the short term, raising concern about
various toxins migrating into the water table."
said that communities could get £100,000 per well "and
other sweeteners too."
reported here last year, the possibility that parts of the Burnham-On-Sea
area could see fracking for shale gas has moved a step nearer, after
the Government sold the rights to explore in 27 different parts
of the west country.
South Western Energy has secured the sole rights to explore almost
all the different locations, which include Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge,
Brean and Berrow, subject to planning permission.
Western Energy has been offered more than 20 Petroleum Exploration
and Development Licences from the Government's Oil & Gas Authority.
However, the firm will have to apply for individual planning permissions
to begin exploring below ground, and then more permissions to actually
Peter Burridge-Clayton stressed that the presentation was "for
information only," adding: "This is a one-sided presentation
and we as a council will want to look at the other side of the debate
too before making any decisions."
David Hogarth asked: "why on earth is this on our agenda?"
but the Town Clerk explained that it is an "important issue
that members need to be aware of."
Hogarth said that "When Brunel initially built the railway
there were enormous protests."
Ogilvie-White said he'd tried to ensure his presentation was "factual
and not alarmist." He pointed out that a BBC radio interview
in December 2016 had raised the possibility of South Western Energy
submitting a planning application to start fracking 'just south
of Weston' this year.
said they would wait to see whether any formal planning applications
are submitted before making any decisions.
former MP, Tessa Munt, who was at this week's meeting, told Burnham-On-Sea.com
afterwards: "I am totally opposed to fracking. Why on earth
anyone would think this is a good idea in a tourism area is crazy.
It would have a hugely negative impact on house prices located around
the fracking wells, and could also affect our water supplies."