New move on drilling plan

Published on: 04 Jan 2013

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New move on drilling plan

The company behind a bid to carry out test-drilling at Hicks Gate has withdrawn the application – but now intends to submit a bid for full shale gas production at the site. Hicks Gate

UK Methane Limited had applied to drill one borehole to explore the viability of producing gas from the coalbed at the site before applying for full permission to begin work.

The bid had attracted hundreds of objections from members of the public, as well as concerns raised by Keynsham Town Council.

However, company director Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams has written to Bath and North East Somerset Council to withdraw the application and notify the authority of the firm's intention of making a new application in the new year.

He said: “The level of information that is being requested is far higher than that for any other previous planning application that we have been involved with in other parts of the country; we feel, therefore, for the extra amount of work that is involved, that we will apply for a full production permission.”

He added: “Central government has carried out enough work to prove that shale gas production is safe and has recently lifted the moratorium on fracking.”

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