Barnsley Council’s Local Plan “Opens the Door” for Fracking in the area

We at the Barnsley Green Party urge local residents to oppose Barnsley Council’s Mineral’s Policy in their Local Plan consultation.

The document states that hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, will be supported by the council. We only have until August 19th to tell Barnsley Council not to allow fracking in our area.

The Minerals Policy (Under section 22 of the plan) states that ‘proposals for the exploration and production of oil and gas (including petroleum, natural gas, coal mine methane, coal bed methane or underground gasification of coal), will generally be supported’, and that ‘proposals for the exploration and production of shale gas via hydraulic fracturing will generally be supported.’

The Green Party is the only mainstream party in the UK to completely oppose fracking, as unfounded support for fracking puts corporate wealth before public health. We therefore call for a ban on all UK fracking operations, and for the UK to close loopholes which put our towns at risk.

Our objections to fracking are based on empirical, peer-reviewed evidence. Not only is fracking linked to health problems such as respiratory and reproductive issues, cancer and headaches, but it is also damaging to the environment due to methane gas, radioactive elements, and carcinogenic chemicals being released in to the atmosphere. There is also an increased risk of earthquakes caused by drilling, as well as risk of groundwater contamination, resulting in water shortages and health problems.

Fracking also puts our farming and agricultural industry under threat. In the US, fracking near farming areas has caused water contamination which has lead to livestock sickness, infertility, deformed young, and death. The risk of groundwater contamination has also led to a significant fall in property values.

In 2016 we should be striving to produce safe, renewable energy. We have the money, infrastructure and resources to stop burning fossil fuels and invest in green, sustainable energy. We are incredibly disappointed that Barnsley Council would put residents’ health at risk like this, and adopt such a regressive policy.

We therefore call on Barnsley Council to remove the statement of support for fracking from the Local Plan, and encourage everyone to raise their concerns by commenting on the Local Plan consultation website. The Local Plan consultation can be found here: http://consult.barnsley.gov.uk/portal/development/planning/lppd2016/lppd2016

We also encourage residents to write to their local and parish councilors objecting to this support and to attend one of the remaining Barnsley Council consultation events:

  • Thursday 21st July (5pm-7pm)
  • Goldthorpe Library, Barnsley Road Friday 22nd July (10am-12 noon)
  • Wombwell Library, Station Road Saturday 23rd July (10.30am-12.30pm & 1pm-3pm), Better Barnsley Unit, Cheapside, Barnsley Town Centre.

Find us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/GreenPartyBarnsley
We hold monthly public meetings on the second Thursday of every month from 7pm at the YMCA in Barnsley town centre.

 

 

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