VOTE: Vow to protest at any fracking plans in Isle

A shale gas test site.
A shale gas test site.

A former parish councillor has vowed to fight any plans for fracking in the Isle after a survey revealed part of the area is sitting on shale gas.

A report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) indicated the presence of the fossil fuel underneath parts of Westwoodside and Haxey.

There are currently no fracking plans in place, but Jean Turner, who served on Belton and Epworth parish councils for 16 years, said she would fight any future proposals.

The grandmother-of-two, of Fieldside, Epworth, said: “I think you have to look at the environmental impact and its effect on global warming.

“It has been used in Canada and I have found a 93-page report which explains that communities there have had their water supply contaminated as a result.

“I think there needs to be more research done on its impact. I served as a parish councillor for many years and this is a big issue.

“I would protest against any proposals in the future.”

Mrs Turner was due to speak about the issue at the Haxey Parish Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Ministers have announced payments for residents who host fracking wells – where rock is fractured with high-pressure liquid to release the gas.

Communities could receive at least £100,000 for each well where fracking takes place to explore for gas, and one per cent of revenues if it proves to be commercially viable.

Isle MP Andrew Percy has previously told the Epworth Bells that fracking in other parts of the world has provided jobs and brought energy prices down.

But he added: “Any future development locally will have to be looked at on its own merit and the potential impact it may have on that community must be considered.”

Energy minister Michael Fallon has previously said it would be ‘irresponsible’ not to encourage the exploration of shale gas.

In a statement, the BGS said: “Shale gas clearly has potential in Britain but it will require geological and engineering expertise, investment and protection of the environment.”