Council to strengthen its anti-fracking stance
ALL Greater Manchester’s town halls – including Rochdale – are to oppose any bid to start fracking in the region amid safety and environmental fears.
Under plans unveiled on Monday, the council is set to write into its planning policies a ‘presumption’ against any request to drill for shale gas.
While companies could still take any rejection to appeal, leaders hope the latest move will strengthen their legal argument and deter plans from being submitted in the first place.
Now the region’s mayor, Andy Burnham, says he wants to send a message to any firms considering entering a full application to frack.
“This is quite a radical policy, making quite a big statement,” he said.
“It’s a firm position on behalf of the 10 boroughs and Greater Manchester as a whole, where we have large numbers of potential sites. I think that’s quite significant when we have the issue with Lancashire.”
Fracking in Lancashire hit the headlines in October after drilling began near Preston.
Just 11 days after drilling began, activity was suspended following an earth tremor. Fracking had also been suspended near Poulton-le-Fylde in 2011 for similar reasons.
While fracking has not yet taken place in Greater Manchester, exploratory drilling has taken place at Barton Moss in Salford – prompting widespread protests.