Thursday, February 14, 2019

Fracking in Bleadon is not acceptable


John Penrose MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

Dear John

South Western Energy Limited (SWE) has recently sent letters to at least two landowners in Bleadon. They want to do “walk over” surveys to get an idea of whether the rocks are suitable for drilling for oil.

At least one of the landowners has refused on environmental grounds, despite the offer of substantial inducements. 

It looks as if SWE is going for “tight oil”, which is a form of fracking that extracts oil rather than gas. Their operation would inevitably result in contamination of the extensive network of underground watercourses in the fissured limestone of the Mendips.

SWE was refused permission in Keynsham at the eastern end of the Mendips because they would contaminate the Roman Baths in the city of Bath.

Clearly this is a matter of great importance not just for the people of Bleadon, but for everyone who loves the Mendips, for the cavers, for Cheddar and Wookey, and for Weston, which draws its water supply from the Banwell Springs.

The last time we corresponded about fracking, you said that your view would be affected by the feeling about it among your constituents. Last year, frack Free North Somerset conducted a survey in neighbouring Hutton, and the result was that 87% signed up to say they did not consent to fracking in their parish. A mere 4% were supportive of fracking. We hope you agree that this is convincing evidence of a majority, far more convincing than, for instance, a 52/48 balance.

Whatever your views on man-made climate change, or the impact of heavy goods vehicles going to and from the fracking site, or of lights, flares, air pollution and health effects in the vicinity of fracking, or of falling property prices and the impact on tourism, we hope that you will agree that it is the duty of our generation to protect the network of waterways under the Mendips.

You may say that no planning application has been made. To this we say – too early is better than too late. It is indeed kinder to SWE that they do not waste money on a survey or on applications that are doomed from the outset because drilling into the Mendips is totally unacceptable.

We are looking forward to a clear statement from you that fracking on or near the Mendips is not acceptable.

Kind regards


No comments: