Theresa May was asked in parliament for her reaction to the complaint of a Cheshire woman who was “door-stepped” by land agents acting for the UK’s biggest shale gas company.
In a question to the Prime Minister this afternoon, the Labour MP, Mike Amesbury, said the agents for INEOS Shale were seeking access to farmland in his Weaver Vale constituency to carry out seismic surveys.
He said the agent posted a pre-named contract to his constituent, Alison Davis, which would give the company rights to use the land.
But Mr Amesbury said:
“Alison had already rejected this request when she was door-stepped a few days earlier.”
He asked Theresa May:
“Does the Prime Minister know what it feels like to get an unsolicited letter from a group who won’t take no for an answer and will she join the Welsh and Scottish governments by saying no to fracking in England?”
INEOS has faced criticism in seeking to take legal action against the National Trust, which has refused access for testing at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire (link).
In Yorkshire last week a group of 15 landowners, holding more than 80,000 acres, backed the National Trust and said they had:
“no wish for our land to play any part in extracting gas or oil”.
The Prime Minister sidestepped Ms Davis’s complaint and replied:
“May I say to the honourable gentleman that shale gas extraction could be a very important part of ensuring energy security in this country and I’m sure all his constituents and the constituents of others represented in this house will want to ensure that the government is doing everything it can to ensure we maintain our energy security and we don’t see the lights being turned off.”
DrillOrDrop asked INEOS whether it supported the behaviour of the land agent and whether it was standard practice. This post will be updated with any response from the company.