Back in August 2015 the local community in Upton near Chester conducted a neighbourhood survey to collect views on fracking, and found that 84% of local residents were against Unconventional Gas Extraction in their area
Now, in April 2017, Upton parish Council are conducting their own survey – it states on their consultation page that…
“Some time ago the Parish Council was asked by a large number of Upton residents to make a parish wide policy on unconventional gas extraction (UGE) – also known as ‘fracking’. The Parish Council agreed and a draft UGE Policy was approved – we would now like your opinion on its content before it is finalised.”
“The Parish Council urges you to read this very important draft policy and send in your comments. You may do this by completing the tear off slip below and posting it to the clerk or dropping it in to Upton Pavilion. Alternatively you may email or text your comments directly to the clerk at email@example.com or 07584 415343.”
The current draft policy is that the PC will oppose Unconventional Gas Extraction in Upton and adjacent areas.can be found here: Upton UGE Draft Policy March 2016 or is also published in full on the new Upton Parish Council website – and is interesting as it includes and gives credit for many of the concerns raised by residents.
It states –
- The parish council will object to a proposal for Unconventional Gas Extraction in Upton, or immediately adjoining areas, for the following reasons
A proposed site in Upton for exploration and extraction, with the activity and infrastructure required to support it, will be too close to a dense urban area. In the case of the Duttons Lane site there are large areas of housing, a number of schools, a sports centre, playing fields, a local shopping centre, and one of the biggest zoos in Europe all within 1 km of the proposed site.
- It is not appropriate to have development of this kind in the Green Belt which is meant to protect the setting and special character of Chester, and to preserve the open nature of the countryside. The A41 in Upton provides a clear and distinct boundary to the Green Belt in this part of Chester and has been recognised as such for many years. Development of well heads, the location of plant and large equipment, the storage of chemicals and other substances, and the activities involved in drilling and extraction will effectively industrialise this area.
- We should not be using a technology which carries risks to communities and to the environment, and where it is not clear what the impacts will be. There are many concerns and questions amongst local people, businesses and organisations, to which reassurances have not been provided; some of these are summarised below. Elsewhere e.g. in Australia and the US, where UGE has taken place, there have been major impacts to health and the environment; in a parish such as Upton the urban areas and countryside are much more densely populated and the settlement structure much more finely grained, and consequently more vulnerable. Instead we should apply a precautionary approach and oppose development, and support a moratorium whilst requesting information on the many concerns people have.
- In principle, we are opposed to opening up a new front in the exploitation of fossil fuels. It goes against what we need to do in the UK to counter climate change; instead we should be investing in renewable energy sources, which do not carry the risks of UGE to human health and the environment and which offer long term sustainable energy reserves rather than the short term and finite approach of UGE
- In the light of the above, and the level of opposition from local people demonstrated in recent months, it is clear that the companies interested in developing UGE have not created a Social Licence to Operate (SLO). This is a term which has evolved from the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility, and reflects the level of acceptance within local communities of mining companies and their projects.
***Please click on the following link to read and comment on the survey***
We feel it is important that this consultation should attract a good and positive response, and as the policy refers also to adjacent areas, it is reasonable that respondents could include those from these areas. The areas are not listed and they could be interpreted liberally. Names and addresses are optional.
The policy was drafted when Labour councillors with support from the Liberal Democrat held a majority in council, but Upton Parish Council is now predominantly Conservative and we can not assume that the draft policy will be confirmed, particularly if there is not a good response to it.
It can also be promoted to encourage other councils to adopt a similar approach.
If you would like to be kept informed about fracking, upcoming events and other ways you can help out across the region – even a few hours here and there can make a huge difference – please add yourself to our mailing list –
simply email firstname.lastname@example.org saying “Add Me”. No other details are required.
This is for the mailing list only, it is NOT a contact email address (please go to the contact page if you need a reply to your email)
Not sure what fracking is? Have a look at http://www.frackfreedee.co.uk/shale-gas/
We are not a fixed, separate group, we are a fluid collection of concerned residents. If you have written an article you would like posted on our blog, please send it to email@example.com