The battle to keep fracking from Chorley

Gillian Kavanagh, in white, with members of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble strategy group

Gillian Kavanagh, in white, with members of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble strategy group

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Campaigners are declaring war on the prospect of fracking coming to Chorley.

Members of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble oppose possible drilling for shale gas in the area.

“Fracking is a danger to our health, homes, environment and water and it won’t lead to cheaper gas prices. We are here to educate and inform our community on what is happening and what they can do about it.”

Gillian Kavanagh

They now plan to hold a public meeting next week to tell people more about it.

Gillian Kavanagh, founder of Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble, said: “Fracking is a danger to our health, homes, environment and water and it won’t lead to cheaper gas prices.

“We are here to educate and inform our community on what is happening and what they can do about it.”

The meeting will be held from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, September 29 at Chorley Cricket Club.

There will be a film, talks and a question and answer session for people to find out more about fracking.

Among those attending will be the Nanas of Lancashire, who have campaigned against proposals for fracking in other areas.

As well as holding the meeting, the group has a petition calling for Chorley Council to make the borough “frack free”.

They believe the status would help Lancashire County Council when considering applications to frack in future.

It comes after gas companies were offered permission last month to explore for oil and gas across the north of England and the Midlands in the 14th round of licences granted by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Two of the areas up for exploration involve sites in Chorley. One is on land east of Chorley covering Healey Nab, Rivington, Belmont and Horwich, and the other is between Samlesbury, Wheelton and Darwen.

Other parts of the borough are understood to be covered by existing licences.

Gillian, who lives in Brinscall, created a Facebook page for Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble last year and it now has more than 500 “likes”.

She said: “I knew it would only be a matter of time before the licences came here.”

Gillian is concerned about the environmental impact of fracking and she questions the economic benefits claimed by those in favour of it, such as job creation and cheaper gas prices.

Since the new licences have been announced, more people have got involved with Frack Free Chorley And South Ribble and Gillian decided to hold the public meeting so that people could find out more about it.

She said: “I have been snowed under with the response. It’s been brilliant.

“A lot of people are really shocked that it’s coming to their doorstep, to this beautiful area of Lancashire.”

To find out more about the group, go to www.facebook.com/FrackfreeChorley.