Crowle councillors demand fracking answers

Councillor Trevor Barker

Councillor Trevor Barker

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Concerned Crowle town councillors are demanding answers from the government over potential fracking sites for Axholme North.

At the latest full town council meeting it was agreed unanimously to write to the Department of Energy and Climate Change and North Lincolnshire Council requesting facts on how fracking would impact on the area.

Town mayor Coun Ron Stewart said the two bodies needed to clear up misconceptions as everyone is in the dark over the contentious issue.

He added: “We need to get answers. We need to know what is planned for Axholme North and what impact that may bring.

“A lot of stories are spoken about fracking. What we need are facts. I have no firm views on this issue until we get those facts.”

Crowle ward councillor Trevor Barker joined the chorus of frustration when he said: “We need to get answers from North Lincolnshire Council to see if they have received anything from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and to see what fracking would mean for us. However, despite previous requests there has been no feedback.” Deputy leader of North Lincolnshire Council and member for Crowle, Coun John Briggs, said communities needed comprehensive information about all aspects of fracking including details of how licences are granted, where they apply, how testing is carried out and potential risks on the landscape if planning approval was given. He added: “The Isle of Axholme has got more than it’s fair share of energy creation bearing in mind the number of wind farms. Obviously residents are concerned and I will be pressing for full information. I’ll ensure that any planning applications will be called in to go before the council’s planning committee. This will ensure communities will be able to have their say.”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency – the body that grants permission to companies to carry out test drilling – said: “We have issued Egdon Resources UK Ltd with an environmental permit to operate a mining waste operation at Lodge Farm in Broughton. The permitted activity is for a mining waste operation for the management of non-hazardous extractive waste and gas from prospecting for mineral resources not including a waste facility. The activity does not include well stimulation or hydraulic fracturing for the recovery of oil and gas.”

As reported in last week’s Bells licences have been given by DECC for exploration at Cottage Farm and Eastoft Road, Crowle, Pasture Lane, Amcotts, Haldenby Hall, Luddington, Pilfrey Bridge, Althorpe and Temple Gardens, Belton but no company apart from Egdon Resources Ltd had so far approached EA.