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MP calls on residents to object to fracking planning application



Formby Labour MP, Bill Esterson is encouraging residents to use research carried out by Frack Free Formby to object to the planning application by Aurora Petroleum at Altcar Moss Wellsite.


The planning application is with Lancashire County Council and Frack Free Formby are suggesting 5 key arguments on planning grounds, which residents could use. Bill Esterson MP has also written to the government to ask why Lancashire County Council is making the decision on its own and why Sefton Council is not being asked to determine the application as well, given that most of those affected live in Sefton, mostly in Formby.


Frack Free Formby has published details on their website of their recommended reasons for objecting, using planning law.


Bill Esterson MP said, “Thank you to Frack Free Formby, who have carried out their own research to identify the planning reasons for objecting to the planning application by Aurora. If Lancashire County Council is going to reject the planning application for fracking, they must have reasons, which are in planning law. The work done by Frack Free Formby is very helpful for residents who want to object. They have identified 5 key arguments. These are that the UK does not need onshore shale gas; that fracking entails environmental risks; that fracking threatens local communities; that the Great Altcar site is unsuitable; and that the proposal threatens all of North Sefton and South West Lancashire. The full details of the planning grounds are on the Frack Free Formby website and I would recommend that residents use the research carried out by Frack Free Formby in making your objections to the planning application.


“I am also concerned that Lancashire County Council is making the decision alone and that Sefton Council is not part of the decision making process. Sefton will make its objections clear and the Labour Group on Sefton opposes fracking but this is not the same as the council being asked to decide the planning application. Fracking at the Altcar Wellsite will affect people in Formby and I have therefore written to the Secretary of State asking whether both councils should be making the decision, rather than just Lancashire. Formby Parish Council has suggested in its Neighbourhood Plan that fracking could be allowed if it is considered to be sustainable and in the community interest. This statement in the Formby Residents’ Action Group (FRAG) controlled parish council plan is a cause for concern as it could be used to justify support for fracking by Aurora. Everyone else in Formby should therefore object to the planning application to make up for this potentially serious mistake by FRAG.


“I oppose fracking and voted against the fracking regulations in Parliament. Labour’s policy is to ban fracking. I would like to thank Moira and John from Frack Free Formby for meeting me recently to talk through their campaign and would encourage everyone in Formby to object to the planning application.”


Frack Free Formby website is www.frackfree formby.org planning objections can be made by email to devcon@lancashire.gov.uk or by letter to The Development Management Group, PO Box 100, County Hall, Preston, PR1 0LD. Frack Free Formby public meetings are at Gild Hall Formby on 3 September at 7pm and at Lydiate Village Hall on 5 September also at 7pm.


Bill Esterson MP is pictured with his parliamentary colleagues, Barry Gardiner and Rosie Cooper with Frack Free Formby, Frack Free Lancashire and other residents at Altcar Moss Wellsite, Great Altcar.


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