Kingston Seymour Parish Council declares that our Parish is a “frack free zone”
– A PEDL (Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence) was granted to South Western Energy Limited in September 2016 and this gives them exclusive rights to explore for sources of shale gas in the licenced area for five years.
– We have been monitoring developments and have noted that an increasing number of authorities are adopting a position against this activity – these include Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean and Watchet Town. The Scottish government has banned fracking
– We have raised the issue with our community and they are universally against this activity.
– We are aware of the potential risks of fracking which include – inter alia:
– Contamination of water sources
– Possible chemical pollution from the fracking fluid used to pump into the drill holes to create the fissures to release the gas
– Seismic activity caused by the fracking
– Air pollution from the processes used
– Industrialisation of the countryside – hundreds of heavy lorry trips are required to establish and maintain a fracking site
– A well may last between 2 and 5 years – but the legacy will last forever
– We are unconvinced by arguments that suggest fracking will be a major source of gas for the country and would prefer that investment is made in renewable technologies
– It is likely that jobs created will be filled by outsiders to the area and these jobs will be temporary
– Huge amounts of fresh water are used in the fracking process. The fresh water supply balance is delicate already as was demonstrated again during the hot summer
Finally, we are concerned that the Government may seek to “simplify” the establishment of a fracking well by allowing exploratory drilling to bypass the formality of the planning process and be allowed as “permitted development”. This will mean that the democratic rights of our citizens to object to applications will be removed.
South Western Energy Limited have been notified of our position.
Article from January 2017
Will there be Fracking in Kingston Seymour? (Article by Steve Dixon published in the January 2017 edition of the Village Magazine)
Many of you will have heard the interview with Gerwyn Williams – MD of South Western Energy Ltd – that was broadcast on Claire Carter’s Radio Somerset show on the morning of the 2nd December 2016.
The facts are these.
It is part of Government strategy to make the UK self-sufficient in natural resources and it has chosen to licence the exploration for natural energy in very many parts of the country. These licences include nine licences for the coastal areas of Somerset – from Clevedon around as far as Dunster. Please visit the Oil and Gas Authority’s website www.ogauthority.co.uk for detail of all of the areas that have been licensed.
Kingston Seymour lies at the very northern edge of licence area ST36 and this licence, plus the eight other licences for the Somerset coastal areas, have all been taken by South Western Energy Ltd. The geophysical analysis of the opportunity that MAY exist beneath this very large area was expected, by Mr Williams, to take another year. If that “desktop” work shows that there could be some value to undertaking physical exploration, South Western Energy would then have to apply for permissions and consents from a number of bodies and this process would give us all the opportunity to engage and act because these permissions and consents are not in any way assured
We think that it is unlikely that potential value will be found under KS but please be assured that your Parish Council, North Somerset Council and all of the other authorities in whose areas these licences fall – will be maintaining a very great deal of vigilance over this and will act quickly and appropriately as matters develop.
Update – The nine licences acquired by South Western Energy amount to a land total of 182 square miles. Our Parish contributes 5.8 square miles of that – equivalent to 3.2% of the total.
The Government’s Oil and Gas Authority’ Website is here http://www.ogauthority.co.uk
An independently produced Fracking Map is here http://frack-off.org.uk/locations/
A local – Somerset – independent site is here http://www.frackfreesomerset.org/