Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 26, 2018

Dismayed by Champion Coverage Of Aurora Plans

It’s not only some local residents who are cross about Aurora and its intrusion into our lives with its plans to make a scoping request in advance of a planning application for exploratory drilling and fracking in PEDL 164 on Altcar Moss. Mrs M Tarplee and Barbara Bellis have written to the Champion  letters about it. Mrs Tarplee reminds us that local councils are saying no but they are being overturned by central government. Seismic events and HGVs on our roads add to the dangers.

Barbara Bellis is concerned by the affect of fracking on wildlife, as Altcar has the highest levels of skylarks , lapwings , and hares  in the country, all nesting and breeding on those fields. And she asks, “have we nowhere that is safe for our wildlife”, and tells us “God help this planet”. She is not alone and will find support as we wrote last week, from the “Moss Alliance”, the recently formed alliance of local groups opposed to fracking.

Rosie Cooper MP Labour West Lancashire is also on the case, in Parliament, as she asked the Rt. Hon. Member for Meriden representing the Church Commissioners what the policy of the Church of England is on fracking on land owned by the Church of England.

Caroline Spelman, the Second Church Estates Commissioner replied “All oil and gas deposits in the UK are owned by the Crown. There are no plans for the Church Commissioners to use its land or mineral rights for the purpose of fracking. As a policy, The Church Commissioners do not seek applications for seismic drilling/exploration and fracking. Allowing seismic testing/exploratory drilling does not imply approval of fracking. Litigation risks arise for landowners should they wish to oppose a request to carry out geophysical surveys on their land. The Church Commissioners seek to minimise this risk.

The Church Commissioners are responsible landowners and landlords and we seek to protect both our interests and those of our tenants. The Church does not have an official position on fracking and recognises it’s a controversial and evolving issue and people within the church hold a range of views. The Church of England issued a Briefing Paper on Shale Gas and Fracking in December 2016 which can be found here:

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