Swansea Council voted last night to add a statement to local policy saying it would not support plans for unconventional oil and gas.
The council also agreed to write to the Welsh government expressing its concern about fracking and its support for the Welsh moratorium.
The unanimous agreement at a meeting of the full council follows approval of an anti-fracking motion in January (DrillOrDrop post). During those discussions, councillors heard a presentation by Keith Ross, of Frack Free Wales.
Last night, the Labour-led council said the statement on unconventional minerals would be added to the policy section covering development of mineral resources in the Deposit Local Development Plan.
The agreed statement reads:
“The Council will not support the development of land based unconventional oil or gas operations, including the exploration, appraisal and extraction of oil or gas by unconventional methods(including the making of exploratory boreholes).”
The Deposit Local Development Plan will be submitted for approval by the Planning Inspectorate later this year. It is due to come into effect in 2017.
The council also agreed to write to the Welsh Minister for Natural Resources:
“Expressing concerns relating to potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing technology and expressing support for a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing techniques for the development of onshore unconventional oil and gas exploration in Wales until such time as the impacts are properly assessed and understood.”
Swansea aspires to become fossil free by 2025 and June’s anti-fracing motion was seen by council leaders as an important part of that policy. In December, however, Swansea’s planning committee unanimously approved plans for coal bed methane exploration at Bryntywod (details)