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Bleadon Fracking Talk Update

Posted on 12th June, 2019

 

Link to PEDL licences in and around Bleadon

 (Click map to enlarge image)

 

The following are my draft notes on the Frack Free North Somerset (FFNS) public meeting held on the 11 June 2019 at the Coronation Hall in Bleadon.  

 

About 40 people attended the open meeting. There was an interesting, calm and informative discussion about potential 'fracking' in Bleadon. This was followed by a number of questions raised by the public and discussed with FFNS, Frack Free Exmoor, Quantocks & Sedgemoor (FFEQS) and by a local caver from Axbridge Caving Group .

 

Some points covered included:

  • A map of the 7 current Petroleum Exploration & Development Licences (PEDL) in the area, including Bleadon.
  • Information that at least two Bleadon residents on Roman Road had already received oil and gas exploration survey letters 
  • Broad explanation about the process of 'fracking', tight oil, acidification, and associated issues that a 'fracking' site could create e.g. the number of potential drilling rigs and chemicals used, drilled well integrity issues, HGV traffic, etc.
  • Information about Gerwyn Williams, his companies, offshore company in Luxembourg, imminent stockmarket activity and shareholders financing this potential fracking project (See "Potential resources of unconvential oil in Somerset" on p31 of the Infinity Energy Circular)
  • Suggestion that residents watch a 6 minute video called Don't Frack Our Future (also Doreen's youtube comments on her experience of fracking coming to her community).
  • Results of the FFNS survey in Hutton - 87% of people surveyed were opposed to fracking in their parish.
  • Some of the known effects of fracking e.g. visual and audible effects, community safety, health issues, earthquakes, contribution to climate change, carbon dioxide emmissions, 
  • Use of water in the 'fracking' process, where it may come from, polluted/contaminated waste, the need for water extraction licences. (See also Bristol Water
  • The planning process and current concern over proposed permitted development  (See also NPPF and potential Neighbourhood Plan influence)
  • Developer insurance and end of contract/decommissioning concerns (including potential land owner cleanup issues) 
  • Alternative solutions, renewable energy, need for energy storage
  • Geological and palentological significances of the caves in and surrounding Bleadon, an explanation of international importance of these sites including registration as an SSSI. E.g. Upper Canada Cave, Canada Coombe, Bleadon. NB A local landowner has left land to Avon Wildlife Trust with certain permissions for caving.
  • Potential for contaminated water seepage through limestone and any connected caves affecting Bleadon and surrounding villages.
  • The importance of bats in the area.
  • A resident commented, and posted,  "... having moving into Bleadon at the end of May, I/we were aware of the potential for fracking in this area from the Fracking Report we got with the rest of the information regarding the house" (See comments section below)

What can people do? The more that developers, shareholders and public representatives hear comments against fracking the less likely it will happen, so:

  • Encourage Bleadon Parish Council to pass a motion to either be 'Frack Free' or 'Let Communities Decide'
  • Write to your parish and district councillors and MP either directly or via "They Work for You/Write to Them" which will track responses. (John Penrose MP has indicated that he will represent the community's decision)
  • Personally visit and speak to your elected representatives, let them hear your views on this local 'fracking' issue.
  • Let FFNS know if you, or your neighbours, receive a request to survey your land for 'fracking'
  • Contact FFNS and/or FFEQS if you're interested in being involved in a Bleadon Committee/Action Group to tackle this issue and/or would like another public meeting on this issue to be held.
  • Write to local newspapers

Two councillors attended as residents:

  • Cllr Mary Sheppard, Bleadon Parish Council Vice Chair, attended the whole meeting. At the end she thanked FFNS  for hosting the meeting and presenters for sharing information with the community.
  • Cllr Gill Williams, Chair of BPC's Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), attended part way through the meeting and confirmed, when asked by an attendee, that BPC had not yet received a letter from the developer Gerwyn Williams regarding potential fracking in Bleadon.

Hopefully BPC, and its Neighbourhood Development Plan sub-group, will now reconsider its stance on fracking to protect Bleadon's future, and decide to be 'Frack Free' or 'Let Communities Decide'

 

NB: Kingston Seymour Council, near Clevedon, declared its Parish a 'frack free zone' in September 2018.

 

For more information visit BOB's fracking page 

 

Previous fracking blog 

 

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Comments (1)

Comment to Frack Free North Somerset (FFNS) facebook page:

As a newbee in the area, having moving into Bleadon at the end of May, I/we were aware of the potential for fracking in this area from the Fracking Report we got with the rest of the information regarding the house. It did not appear to be a big risk so we bought the house and I attended the meeting earlier this week to find out more.

I live in Bleadon Mill and our house looks at Bleadon Hill at the back and beautiful it is too. If I can be of any value to your organisation regarding the fracking risk/tight oil risk potential please get back to me ... I do have MCIPS (business degree) and I am a reasonably good communicator. Please understand that my concern is not about the value of our new home but is about the truely destructive nature of the fracking/tight oil extraction processes that will affect everyone's lives here, in other local communities and also the Weston-super-Mare water supply and our physical (including the very special underground caves in the hill and beyond) and natural environment ( including all the birds, animals, plants and insects) for ever - and I cannot see any good reason for allowing this to happen. None at all!