|Request to: Welsh assembly Government Planning Division
From: Andy Chyba in my capacity as Chair of BRIDGEND GREEN PARTY
8 Min-y-Coed, Brackla, Bridgend CF31 2AF
This is an issue across the whole of the South Wales Coalfield area (and a bit beyond)
There are many applications of this type before all the Council areas of the coalfield area – they should all be called in.
We have seen Centrica withdraw their two proposals in Bridgend CBC at the point at which I was about to request them to be called in.
I know Centrica have several others (5 I believe, 2 of which may have been approved by now) similar proposals before Neath Port Talbot CBC.
Coastal Oil & Gas Ltd have one before the Vale of Glamorgan CBC: 2011/00115/FUL
I understand Composite Energy have proposals near Pontardulais, in the jurisdiction of Swansea CBC
There are probably proposals in RCTCBC and Caerphilly CBC too.
I have not the time or resources to scour all relevant local authorities for such applications, but I would urge you to do so.
It is referred to variously as Coal Bed Methane; Shale Gas; Mine Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing; Fracking.
GROUNDS FOR REQUEST FOR CALLING IN ALL SUCH APPLICATIONS AND IMPOSING A MORATORIUM ON ANY SUCH APPLICATIONS THAT MAY ALREADY HAVE BEEN GRANTED (following published example criteria):
- The implications, at any given site, of groundwater contamination will stretch well beyond the local areas. Added together, they could spell catastrophe for the whole of South Wales, as they have across vast tracts of the USA.
- Such developments are in clear conflict with national energy planning policies: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/desh/policy/100331energystatementen.pdf ; http://wales.gov.uk/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2010/100315energy/?lang=en
- Substantial controversy is guaranteed – I can personally assure you of this. See: https://bridgendgreens.wordpress.com/?s=fracking ; http://thevalesaysno.com/ ; http://gaslandmovie.co.uk/ ; http://www.greenparty.org.uk/region/wales/news/fracking-vale-of-glamorgan.html
- Numerous SSSI and important habitats are directly and/or indirectly threatened by these proposals.
- There are aspects of these proposals that are beyond the expertise of local planners and the Environment Agency to adjudicate on. I have had this conceded to me by a senior Neath Port Talbot Planner. It requires experts in rock mechanics and hydrogeology: http://www.montrealgazette.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=4387383 . None have been commissioned by any planning authority as far as I can ascertain.
This is not a request that these applications be refused or overturned. It is a request that they be properly investigated by the right people asking the right questions.
There is clear evidence that this is not happening.
There is also ample evidence that where this does not happen, the consequences can be dire.
I therefore urge that this issue is given priority attention before any real damage can be inflicted on the people of South Wales.
Bridgend Green Party
Mobile: 078 1066 3241
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