Chorley beauty spot could be new fracking site

Healey Nab is one area up for exploration
Healey Nab is one area up for exploration
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Residents have reacted to the announcement that fracking could be on its way to a Lancashire beauty spot.

Gas companies have been offered permission to explore for oil and gas across the north of England and the Midlands in licences granted by the Oil And Gas Authority.

“It is essential that we get facts established as quickly as possible so we can inform people.”

Coun Julia Berry

One area up for exploration is land east of Chorley covering Healey Nab, Rivington, Belmont and Horwich.

But it has led to concerns from people living near Healey Nab, a popular area for walkers and fans of the countryside.

Coun Julia Berry, whose Chorley East ward includes Healey Nab, said her first reaction was “utter shock”.

She continued: “It is essential that we get facts established as quickly as possible so we can inform people.”

Janet Howarth, treasurer of the Friends Of Healey Nab, said: “We feel that it’s a precious asset that ought to be maintained and looked after.

“We would be concerned about what effect fracking would have on that, but we would like to see fuller proposals about it before making any further comment.”

Zach Creswell, who lives on Bagganley Lane near Healey Nab, said: “If there was a big site in the middle of the Nab, it wouldn’t be great. I don’t think it would be nice.

“If they are going to do it, I think there would be better places.”

Dave Wilson, of Montcliffe Road, said: “I don’t agree with it. It would spoil Healey Nab, where everyone goes.

“Why ruin it? There are other places they could frack, like the middle of the moors.”

The licence to explore in the area has been offered to Osprey.

Also up for exploration is land between Samlesbury, Wheelton and Darwen, which has been offered to Aurora Energy Resources Ltd.

A further 132 areas are set to be awarded subject to further environmental assessment and conditions to protect wildlife and habitats.

They include one around Glasson Dock, Cockerham and Galgate and another covering Quernmore and Dolphinholme.

The companies would still need planning permission before being allowed to frack.