Campaigners secure council fracking debate

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, receives the petition from members of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, receives the petition from members of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble

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Campaigners calling for Chorley Council to oppose fracking have received enough signatures to trigger a debate.

Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble has presented a petition with 2,571 signatures to council leader Coun Alistair Bradley.

“This is a great result for the residents of the borough who are against fracking.”

Gillian Kavanagh

The petition calls on the council to oppose any application for shale gas extraction in the borough.

Because more than 1,500 signatures were collected, the topic will be discussed by the council at their meeting on Tuesday, January 19.

Gillian Kavanagh, founder of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble, said: “This is a great result for the residents of the borough who are against fracking.

“Working together over eight weeks to collect signatures across the borough of Chorley, everyone has been so supportive from local village shopkeepers, market traders, cafes, post offices and chemists, and to our supporters standing in the rain on the market collecting 2,571 signatures for the petition to declare the borough of Chorley frack free and protect our health, homes and environment.”

The campaign was launched after gas companies were offered permission in August to explore for oil and gas across the north of England and the Midlands in the 14th round of licences granted by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Two of the areas up for exploration involve sites in Chorley - one is on land east of Chorley covering Healey Nab, Rivington, Belmont and Horwich, and the other is between Samlesbury, Wheelton and Darwen.

Other parts of the borough are understood to be covered by existing licences.

Planning permission from Lancashire County Council would still be needed before fracking could take place.

Coun Bradley said: “I received the petition on Tuesday and as a result of this the issue of fracking is set to be discussed at our January full council meeting.

“It’s important that residents have a say in what they’d like us to discuss and the issue of fracking has led to lots of public interest over the last few months so I look forward to the debate.”

Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble are continuing to collect signatures for the petition, which can be signed online at www.frackfreechorley.com.

They are also planning to hold public presentations in South Ribble.

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