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Date set for ruling on coalbed methane drilling in Shropshire, UK

World Coal,

A date for the final ruling over plans to drill a temporary exploratory borehole for coalbed methane (CBM) in Shropshire, UK, has been revealed.

Shropshire council said it anticipates the planning application will be considered at the next north planning committee meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, 16 December.

Councillors have insisted they oppose the plans, yet Dart Energy, the company hoping to drill for CBM, has said any drilling will be on a small scale and will be carried out safely.

With the local community actively engaging in discussions over the decision to drill for CBM, the importance of community engagement has been highlighted once again.

Over 500 letters of objection from the public – and one in support – have been received by the local council. Many campaigners against the planned site have confused the plan to drill for CBM with plans to use hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ – to extract shale gas.

Such confusion among communities is commonplace, and was highlighted in a recent report by the Scottish Government as a reason for more open public debate and engagement from CBM companies with local people.

Dart Energy has said the exploratory drilling operation would last for a maximum of 60 days and the land would then be restored.  

Written by Sam Dodson

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