Councillors vote for Government not to determine fracking bids

PUBLISHED: 12:27 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 15 November 2018

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer (left) and Richard Lawson (right).

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer (left) and Richard Lawson (right).


Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Cllr Tom Leimdorfer proposed a motion at a North Somerset Council meeting on Tuesday stating shale gas development of any type should not be classed as a permitted development.

Central Government has been carrying out consultation on whether to make non-hydraulic fracking, which is the exploratory drilling process, a permitted development and therefore not subject to the normal planning process.

Councillors overwhelmingly agreed to oppose any proposal for shale exploration to be allowed to bypass the authority’s planning system through permitted development.

Cllr Leimdorfer said: “This is not about the pros and cons 
of fracking, it is about how decisions are made in a democratic society.

“Given its contentious nature, local communities should be able to have a say in whether this type of development takes place.

“Areas ranging from Brean to Pill will be affected by this and it should be up to our communities to decide whether or not to host fracking operations in their areas.”

The Government is responsible for issuing petroleum exploration and development licences (PEDLs) blocks and two of these fall within North Somerset’s boundaries from Clevedon to Brean.

Fracking has already taken place in Lancashire and was linked with causing an earthquake in October.

Frack Free North Somerset carried out a survey in Hutton, which could be affected as company Infinity Energy holds PEDLs across the Somerset coast.

Of the 181 people who responded, 87 per cent were opposed to fracking in the parish, nine per cent were undecided while only four per cent were in favour.

The group’s chairman Richard Lawson said: “Our survey shows clearly there is no social licence whatsoever to frack in the parish of Hutton.

“If and when any application comes before North Somerset Council, it should consider the wishes and well-being of people and its statutory responsibilities to play its part in avoiding climate change.”

More from Weston Mercury

A woman has died today (Wednesday) after she was hit by a van.

Read more

Weston were well beaen by Radstock in the Somerset Super League Darts.

Read more

It’s that time of year again – oh yes it is! – when flamboyant costumes, dazzling sets and cheesy comedy are the order of the day so, getting into the festive spirit last night (Tuesday), I ventured forth with my 10-year-old son into panto-land at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more

Weston Athletic Club’s annual Christmas Cracker race took place on Weston beach with more than 2,000 runners taking part.

Read more

Weston Athletic Club runners took part in the Full Monty Cute, a hilly 10-mile course in South Somerset.

Read more

Trophies were presented to Weston Golf Club ladies at their annual dinner.

Read more

American nu metal band P.O.D. will perform at the O2 Academy Bristol early next year.

Read more

Weston-super-Mare’s MP he will be backing the Prime Minister in tonight’s no-confidence vote.

Read more

A Weston body builder with stage two cancer raised £1,000 for charity by climbing Mount Snowdon.

Read more

Hornets Under-13s recorded a narrow victory over Bath in an entertaining match at the Nest.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists