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No reason to block plans to drill for CBM in Shropshire

World Coal,

Dart Energy bosses say there is no reason why plans to drill for coalbed methane (CBM) in Shropshire, UK, should be blocked by the local council reviewing the drilling permit.

The company has provided further detail about its plans to drill an exploratory borehole for CBM extraction in Dudleston, near Ellesemere, after councillors delayed making a final decision in December.

Councillors said they could not decide on whether to support the application until they were given more information about noise levels, pollution and impact on private water supplies.

Douglas Bain, on behalf of Dart Energy, said: “I believe that all environmental matters can be satisfactorily addressed through the use of planning conditions.”

“I believe we have submitted, in detail, all information required to make a decision on this application,” Bain said.

At the north planning meeting last month, councillors raised fears over the possible pollution from failure of a nearby slurry lagoon.

Members of the committee were concerned that if the lagoon containing cow manure and water was damaged in anyway – potentially by the vibration of collision of vehicles visiting the site – pollution could be a serious problem.

However, Bain said the “risk of lagoon damage is low.” He said no environmental body had mentioned this as a concern and that there would be measures in place to minimise the risk.

Dart Energy has also offered reassurance on noise levels, saying it is “committed” to providing a noise barrier to reduce effects on nearby homes.

Bain said that any further concerns over noise could be dealt with by including conditions with the planning permission. He added that there are no private water supplies near the development with the nearest about 500 m away.

The application can be viewed on Shropshire Council’s website and will be discussed on a date to be decided.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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