Call to block fracking plans

anti-fracking campaigners
anti-fracking campaigners

A Bearsden anti-fracking campaigner is hoping the government will heed a council’s call to implement an immediate moratorium on fracking.

North Lanarkshire Council took the step after councillors raised concerns about the method of extracting gas from underground shale.

The issue is currently a hot topic with opposition groups established in Milngavie, Bearsden, Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and beyond.

Debra Torrance of Frack Off Bear has welcomed the stance taken by some local authorities and said: ‘‘Here in East Dunbartonshire the Scottish Greens, Scottish Socialists and Scottish National Party are happy to work in the same spirit of collaboration with concerned citizens and colleagues in other political parties to stop fracking and other forms of gas extraction in the heart of our communities.’’

Councillor James Coyle, convener of planning and transportation at North Lanarkshire, said: “Councillors across all parties are concerned that not enough is known about the impact and safety of fracking and other unconventional methods of gas extraction.

“We are not in a position to impose a moratorium in North Lanarkshire under existing planning law, as all applications must be dealt with on their merits. But the Scottish Government can and should act immediately by imposing a moratorium on all applications for fracking across the country.

“The Scottish Government have used the excuse in the past that they do not control mineral gas extraction rights, but this is an excuse which will not wash.

“The Smith Commission recommends that control over extraction rights should be devolved, but the Scottish Government shouldn’t wait.’’