Land to be assessed for possible ‘fracking’

Green areas are new licence areas, light green will be awarded later this year, dark green subject to appropriate assessment. The blue area is prospective shale gas
Green areas are new licence areas, light green will be awarded later this year, dark green subject to appropriate assessment. The blue area is prospective shale gas

Swathes of land throughout the Pocklington and Market Weighton areas are to be assessed for the exploration and extraction of shale gas.

A number of ‘blocks’ throughout the local area and other parts of East Yorkshire could be opened to developers, depending on the outcome of Habitats Regulations Assessments.

Land west of Driffield has already been earmarked for works after energy firm Cuadrilla was granted a licence to explore for shale gas in the area.

Jon Mager, of the campaign group Frack Free East Yorkshire, said further talks between environmental groups, parish councils and Cuadrilla would take place over the coming months.

He explained: “What we know is Cuadrilla are going to all the council parish meetings. We have started going as well and we have also been invited to go to meetings of Protecting Our Wolds Environment and Resources.

“We will have a big public meeting in Driffield next month, and another one in Wetwang.”

According to Ian Dewar, chairman of Protecting Our Wolds Environment and Resources, the announcement that several new licences had been offered for shale gas and oil exploration has stimulated much debate in recent weeks.

He said: “Our action group has already received enquiries as to our opinion on this procedure, so we decided to invite representatives of the industry and those who oppose so-called ‘fracking’ to meet with members and guests as a first step to understanding the process and any consequential dangers to our environment and local communities this may have.

“This recent meeting and presentation by Cuadrilla Resources to which local parish councils were invited, was a first step in that programme.

“We fully appreciate the need to find new, efficient energy sources which, by their development and operation cause no harm to our environment.

“We believe our approach, which means liaising with local and national government and entering into dialogue with those who operate within the energy industries, enables us to better understand and advise the communities our members represent.”

Cuadrilla had said it would be: “Communicating with the local community regularly and transparently about any proposed work and future operations.”

• What do you think about the possibility of the exploration and extraction of shale gas in the area? Email your views with your name and address to news@pocklingtontoday.co.uk