Last Thursday night, 23 October, local campaigners against fracking and other 'unconventional' (extreme) gas extraction methods held a public meeting in Borras, Wrexham not far from where Green Park Energy, bought out by Dart Energy, bought out by IGas, have just been given permission to undertake exploratory drilling ostensibly for coal bed methane. The local pub was packed out with standing room only and not much of that as the local community turned out in force to find out more, many angry that the unelected and unaccountable Planning Inspectorate had overturned the decision of Wrexham council's Planning Committee whose members had voted (17 to 2) to reject the planning application back in March.
GP Energy (who were bought out by Dart who in turn have been bought out by IGas) applied for planning permission to do an exploratory drill for coal bed methane (CBM) at Borras, Wrexham. Frack-off describes coal bed methane as the evil twin of shale gas. Wrexham council refused the application back in March after at lot of work by local people to educate the planning committee on the dangers of unconventional gas extraction. The success of this was at least in part due to increased awareness of the issues as a result of a test drill happening at the same time in nearby Farndon. Unfortunately, the Wales Planning Inspector overturned the council's decision earlier this month - on some distinctly dodgy grounds - and the site is now under imminent threat of test drilling, even though it is in an area where the government's own report has indicated CBM extraction isn't feasible due to the geology.
A public meeting has been called for 23 October in Borras but, in advance of that, the site has been occupied this weekend and a community protection camp set up. Support (including more campers) and supplies needed. Please get there if you can. Postcode LL13 9TG. There's a camp Facebook group or you can contact Frack-Free Wrexham for more information.
Earlier this week, the Planning Inspector granted the appeal by GP/Dart/now IGas against Wrexham Council's refusal to grant planning permission for a test drill for Coal Bed Methane at Borras (near Commonwood) near Wrexham. Test drilling on the site could now go ahead at any time.
Yesterday, Saturday 11 October, flyers for a public meeting on 23 October were handed out to football fans before the Wrexham vs. Grimbsy 150th anniversary game. If we want to see another 150 years of Wrexham AFC we're going to have to stop the frackers.
Fracking and its associated evils hadn't exactly escaped my attention, but it's only these past two weeks - with test drilling for coal bed methane happening 10 miles from my home - that I've made time to find out more and join in the resistance. This article is a summary of a few things I've learned, plus links, hopefully useful for anyone else in a similar position. I know it's not comprehensive - use it as a starting point. There are numerous extreme energy sites and potential sites around the country that all need our attention and resistance.
Photos from last Sunday's Frack Off event at Farndon where Dart Energy is drilling for coal bed methane. Before the end of the day, a camp had been established on the grass verge near the site gates.
There's now a free stall in Wrexham People's Market, Chester Street, Wrexham open for sharing from Monday to Saturday every week. The stall's being run by the people for the people. Those taking part include members of Give and Take, Freeconomy Wrexham and the Yum Yum project, others with an interest in developing the gift economy and everyone else who's given stuff, taken stuff and who's helping look after the space. Join us, to take, give or help out on the stall.
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