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Fracking Possibility South of WSM

Posted on 12th March, 2017

In Dec 2016 we set up a Fracking page on BOB.


Bristol Water was working on its Southern Resilience Scheme, a new £27 million water infrastructure project which "will help us meet the increase in demand for water over the coming years. Weston-Super-Mare is one of Europe’s fastest growing towns, and so we need to supply all of the new residents and businesses coming to the area." South Western Energy Ltd had stated their desire to drill "just south of WSM", also presumable in relation to future utlity/energy needs due to increased housing development.


At the same time Bleadon was in the middle of the Bleadon Hill public Inquiry which was asking to add an additional 79 houses to our community. BOB asked Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) a number of questions including its approach to protecting residents' environment, health and well-being in relation to large development applications, including those relating to fracking:


  • Please can BPC/NSC inform us of what is being done, or can be done, to protect our Parish Boundary from neighbouring developmnt pressuring 'us' to accept addtional development? How do BPC/NSC balance short term job creation via development vs long term environmental damage? How can we all work together?
  • This must be a similar situation to North Somerset trying to protect its boundary and residents from neighbouring District Authorities and Central Government decision making e.g. the mandate to increase housing availability in North Somerset. Also the fracking licences in both North Somerset (including the Bleadon Levels) and Somerset, presumably to supply the increased power demand due to increased development in the area (http://www.bleadon.org.uk/fracking.html). Hopefully any potential effects of fracking near our water supplies in the area has been/will also be seriously considered, jointly by all cross boundary parties, along with the need for increased water provision. 
  • FYI, on Friday 2 December 2016 South Western Energy Ltd's indicated their "desire to drill ‘just south of Weston-super-Mare’ and to build a ‘small modular power station’ to convert any shale gas into electricity". Frack Free North Somerset stated "We were told to expect planning permission submissions within the year, and drilling with two years, it is now particularly important that we quickly develop the skills and capacity to watch planning permissions coming in to Somerset & North Somerset councils" http://frackfreenorthsomerset.org.uk/south-western-energy-ltd-announce-plans-to-drill/
  • How is NSC/BPC protecting our environment, water and air quality, health and well-being from these  types of application? How is it working with neighbouring parish/town/district councils/government and related public? How can 'we' build on recent hearing/inquiry knowledge, experience and general interest to enable the public to officially and successfully interact with the process?


Over three months later and we are yet to receive an informative reply from BPC, but they did subsequently invoke their vexatious policy in regards to these and other questions relating to the future of Bleadon. However a member of the public did receive a reply from North Somerset MP John Penrose which was posted on the Frack Free North Somerset website. Other members of the public have also commented on the posted response

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