Joint front on fracking danger to springs

Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have united to voice their concerns over the potential impact of fracking on the local area.

Bath's Guildhall.
Bath’s Guildhall.

At a B&NES Full Council meeting this week in the Guildhall, councillors from all parties voted overwhelming to support a motion put forward by Conservatives which called on the Council to adopt greater local controls on fracking and other unconventional gas exploration in the area.

The Conservative motion also called on the authority to provide an in-depth report on the potential impact and risks of Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane exploration within the area, as well as the likely dangers of geothermal energy exploitation on Bath’s hot springs.

Conservative councillors have said that Bath and North East Somerset is in a unique position when it comes to the use of these new energy technologies due to the sensitive nature of Bath’s hot springs and other water supplies within the area.  They have also highlighted the fact that over two-thirds of the authority is designated as Greenbelt and the area includes two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Tim Warren, who presented the motion to Council, said:

“We’re really pleased that our motion gained cross-party support, with councillors uniting to voice their concerns over the use of fracking and other new energy technologies here in B&NES.  We hope this will strengthen the Council’s hand in resisting any unwanted fracking applications in our area.

“We’re in a unique position in Bath and North East Somerset, not least because of the need to protect Bath’s hot springs and other important local water supplies, but also because over two-thirds of the area is designated as Greenbelt and we boast two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

 

“As a result of the Council passing this motion, B&NES will now come back with a report on the potential impact and risks of fracking and other unconventional energy technologies on our area, as well as measures available to control their use locally.”