A majority of adults in a Cheshire village where IGas has bought land for shale exploration think fracking would be a bad thing, according to a new survey.
The research found 81.7% of people who responded to a questionnaire in Mickle Trafford near Chester were against fracking. 6.5% said they believed fracking would be a good thing. 11.8% did not know or did not have an opinion.
This is the second Cheshire village to oppose fracking in a survey in recent months. In May, a survey in nearby Guilden Sutton found that 76.3% of respondents believed fracking would be a bad thing, compared with 9.2% who thought it would be a good thing and 14.5% who did not know. (see summary at the end of this post)
Both villages are in the exploration licence area PEDL189, held by IGas and INEOS Upstream.
Seismic surveying has been carried out in both villages recently to help determine the viability of shale gas extraction.
In April this year, it emerged that an IGas subsidiary, Star Energy, had bought a plot of land in Mickle Trafford, at the junction of Warrington Road and Ince Lane in Bridge Trafford. It had also leased another site nearby, on Morley Lane. Neither Star Energy nor IGas has submitted planning applications for either site.
In February, IGas announced it was pulling out of a potential coal bed methane site near Mickle Trafford at Salters Lane, Picton. That planning permission expired on 10 September.
More survey details
According to the Mickle Trafford survey results, women respondents were slightly more opposed to fracking than men (84.4% to 80.1%).
Respondents in middle age groups were more likely to oppose fracking. Respondents aged 18-24 and 75+ were more likely to say don’t know or they didn’t have an opinion.
The survey was carried out by Fusion Data Science for the Frack Free Mickle Trafford (FFMT) residents’ group.
FFMT said the reason for the survey was to provide a better understanding of the views of local residents.
Every household in Mickle Trafford and district parish area was sent a questionnaire and letter about the survey.
According to the results, 64% of households and 63% of adults in the parish took part.
When expressed as proportion of the total adult population of Mickle Trafford,
- 4.1% of respondents thought fracking would be a good thing
- 51.7% thought fracking would be a bad thing
- 7.5% didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion
- 37.7% did not respond to the survey
The findings have been sent to Mickle Trafford Parish Council, members of Cheshire West and Chester Council and the local MP, Labour’s Justin Madders, who represents Ellesmere Port and Neston.
FFMT said it was not making a statement about the results at this stage but urged the parish council to take the survey into account when it considers any planning application for fracking.
We asked IGas for a comment and will update this post if the company chooses to respond.
The report said 924 questionnaires were distributed. Questionnaires were collected in sealed envelopes or returned in a “drop box” in the village post office.
591 completed questionnaires were received. Of those 20 were spoiled or ambiguous. The 571 valid questionnaires indicated the views of 1,131 local adult residents out of a total population of 1,788.
Returned questionnaires were counted on Saturday 13 August. The count was supervised by Fusion Data Science and the local county councillor. Each questionnaire was verified by two people before the responses were recorded.
Key findings from Guilden Sutton survey
- 68.2% of local households and 75.6% of adults responded to the survey
- 9.2% of respondents believed fracking would be a good thing for the area
- 76.3% of respondents believed fracking would be a bad thing for the area
- 14.5% of respondents didn’t know if fracking would be good or bad for the area
- Women tended to be more opposed to fracking (80.5% of respondents) compared with 73% for males
- Younger people tended to be more opposed to fracking (90.3% of respondents aged 18-24) compared with 70.3% of those aged 75+.