Green light for fracking,
but what does it mean for North Merseyside?
WHAT will the announcement that the
Government has approved Cuadrilla's application to produce shale in Lancashire
have on Southport and other parts of Merseyside?
In a landmark decision, Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, gave consent to
Cuadrilla's plans to drill and frack 4 horizontal wells, overruling Lancashire
Council. It will now be able to use its Preston New Road site, located between
Blackpool and Preston, in line with planning inspectors' recommendations.
Fracking beneath the area to explore for shale gas, in Lancashire, is set to
start in 2017... It's hoped that the industry will bring jobs to the area and
also making us less reliant on imports. On the flip side, residents are worried
about Earth tremors like the one felt in April 2011, that measured
1.5 on the
Richter scale. That was found to have been caused by test drilling. The anti
fracking group 'Frack Off' then used it to put added pressure on
Councillors at Lancashire Council, over the controversial 'fracking'
technique to extract gas from the ground.
Following the announcement that the Government has approved Cuadrilla's
application to produce shale in Lancashire, Claire Jakobsson, Head of Energy and
Climate Policy at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said:- "Until the
UK actually has some production sites in operation we will know very little
about the commercial viability of this energy source, so this approval could be
a significant step forward for the UK's future in shale. Following the decision,
we could see production start within the next 18 months. It's hoped that this
development will provide vital information on the longer term prospects for a UK
shale industry. Approval of the second application, currently under
consideration, would help to build this picture further and we hope the green
light will be given for this too in due course. Shale gas has the potential to
deliver significant economic benefits to the UK, from more affordable energy to
security of supply, through to jobs in the energy and manufacturing sectors. It
is right that we explore this opportunity and understand the potential for shale
gas as part of the UK's energy mix."
So what are your views on this topic? Have the views of Sefton, that is part of
Merseyside and not Lancashire been overlooked? Please email your views to us