West Lancs opposes Aurora’s fracking plans at Great Altcar

190905 WLBC meeting on Altcar Moss

Councillors on West Lancashire Borough Council’s planning committee voted to oppose Aurora’s fracking plans at Great Altcar

Councillors in West Lancashire have voted overwhelmingly to oppose plans to drill and frack two shale gas wells in the green belt near Formby.

The borough council’s planning committee took just 12 minutes to object to the scheme at a meeting this evening.

Members voted by 10 to nil, with two abstentions, to back the recommendation of planning officers to oppose the application.

If approved, the scheme by Aurora Energy Resources for the village of Great Altcar would be Lancashire’s second fracking site. The decision will be made by Lancashire County Council, probably later this year.

A report by West Lancashire planners described the application as inappropriate development in the green belt. There were no ‘very special circumstances’ needed to justify the scheme, the planners said. The scheme would also be detrimental to visual amenity and the landscape character, they concluded.

Mike Wainwright, the chair of Downholland Parish Council, told the meeting:

“We have received strong representations from local residents who want their concerns to be taken seriously. They have a feeling of powerlessness that this should be imposed on them. It should be refused.”

Cllr Wainwright said the 12m high gas flare and a 37m high rig proposed in the application would fail to preserve the openness of the green belt. The scheme had not demonstrated a need that would outweigh harm, he said.

Cllr David OToole, the West Lancashire Borough Council ward member for the area, said the site had been described in the proposals as remote. But he said:

“It is not remote at all. There are a number of houses along that road [to the proposed site]. The application would be a huge loss of amenity for people living in those houses.”

Cllr O’Toole also said the development would have an impact on local roads.

Cllr Cynthia Dereli said shale gas was not a resource that would help to tackle climate change. She also said fracking could potentially pollute Lancashire’s water supplies.

Reporting from this meeting was made possible by donations from DrillOrDrop readers

22 replies »

  1. Councillors who are all 50 – 60 year old will not see or be involved in the lights going out!

    Renewables is killing the world, Most of the world’s top companies extracting key minerals for electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines have been linked with human rights abuses in their mines, research has found.
    Poor exploited people, but the NIMBYS of the UK don’t give a Sh!t and will not come to the table to discuss how we transition the energy industry! Its like kids kicking their feet and not meeting the energy and FF industry about a solution, its anarchy!

    • Dear me Elie, obviously you do not read my reply to Paul Tresto, or perhaps you dis and that is why you came here to repeat that nonsense?.

      However, here are some very uncomfortable truths for you to read, not that alt right drivel you refer to, and i actually agree with the Guardian article, it is time all these exploitative mining operations, and i include the fossil fuel industry in that, are taken to task and dispensed with.

      Scientists Agree: Global Warming is Happening and Humans are the Primary Cause

      Scientific Consensus: Earth’s Climate is Warming

      Anthropogenic Climate Change

      The Most Powerful Evidence Climate Scientists Have of Global Warming

      7 Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense

    • Ideas and perspectives: is shale gas a major driver of recent increase in global atmospheric methane?

      Robert W. Howarth
      Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

      Correspondence: Robert W. Howarth (

      Received: 10 Apr 2019 – Discussion started: 23 Apr 2019 – Revised: 11 Jul 2019 – Accepted: 12 Jul 2019 –Published: 14 Aug 2019

      Methane has been rising rapidly in the atmosphere over the past decade, contributing to global climate change. Unlike the late 20th century when the rise in atmospheric methane was accompanied by an enrichment in the heavier carbon stable isotope (13C) of methane, methane in recent years has become more depleted in 13C. This depletion has been widely interpreted as indicating a primarily biogenic source for the increased methane. Here we show that part of the change may instead be associated with emissions from shale-gas and shale-oil development. Previous studies have not explicitly considered shale gas, even though most of the increase in natural gas production globally over the past decade is from shale gas. The methane in shale gas is somewhat depleted in 13C relative to conventional natural gas. Correcting earlier analyses for this difference, we conclude that shale-gas production in North America over the past decade may have contributed more than half of all of the increased emissions from fossil fuels globally and approximately one-third of the total increased emissions from all sources globally over the past decade.

        • Fascinating,

          “Natural News
          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
          (Redirected from NaturalNews)
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          Natural News
          Natural News logo. around June 2015, depicting new slogan.png
          Type of site
          Fake news blog
          Available in English
          Owner Mike Adams
          Created by Mike Adams
          Alexa rank 5940[1]
          Commercial Nutraceuticals

          Natural News (formerly NewsTarget, which is now a separate sister site) is a conspiracy theory and fake news website. The website sells various dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine, tendentious nutrition and health claims, fake news, and espouses various conspiracy theories. These conspiracy theories include chemophobic claims about the purported dangers of “chemtrails”, fluoridated drinking water, anti-perspirants, laundry detergent, monosodium glutamate, aspartame), and alleged health problems caused by allegedly “toxic” ingredients in vaccines, including the now-discredited link to autism. It has also spread conspiracy theories about the Zika virus allegedly being spread by genetically modified mosquitoes and purported adverse effects of genetically modified crops, as well as the farming practices associated with and foods derived from them.
          The site’s founder, Michael Allen “Mike” Adams, gained attention after posting a blog entry implying a call for violence against proponents of GMO foods, and then allegedly creating another website with a list of names of alleged supporters. He has been accused of using “pseudoscience to sell his lies”. Adams has described vaccines as “medical child abuse”.
          Characterized as a “conspiracy-minded alternative medicine website”, Natural News has approximately 7 million unique visitors per month.”

          Michael Allen “Mike” Adams (born 1967 in Lawrence, Kansas) is the founder and owner of Natural News; the domain name was registered in 2005 and began publishing articles in 2008. According to Adams’ own website, he became interested in alternative nutrition when he developed type II diabetes at the age of 30 and one of his websites asserts “he cured himself of diabetes in a matter of months and transformed himself into the picture of perfect health in mind, body and spirit” himself using natural remedies. However, The Daily Beast found that his recommendation for Amazon Herb Company products in at least eight articles, including a supposed “third-party review…from a truly independent perspective” turn out to be misleading; he has a financial interest in the company, according to non-profit business records in Arizona. He is a raw foods enthusiast and holistic nutritionist. He claims to eat no processed foods, dairy, sugar, meat from mammals or food products containing additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). He also says he avoids use of prescription drugs and visits to Western medical doctors.
          Adams has endorsed conspiracy theories surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and those involving Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. He has endorsed Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, a movie about Stanislaw Burzynski. Steven Novella characterizes Adams as “a dangerous conspiracy-mongering crank”. Adams has also written a favorable review of the pseudoscientific film House of Numbers (2009) for Natural News, which is reprinted on the film’s website. Adams has also endorsed the books of conspiracy theorist Jim Marrs.
          Adams has made music videos expressing similar viewpoints as the articles posted on his website, such as opposition to the swine flu vaccine. He recorded a rap song “Just Say No to GMO!” that featured spoken lines from Jeffrey M. Smith.”

          So Adams is an American (USA) declared conspiracy theorist reporting on a USA (NASA) organisation about a report from a “NASA” website back in March 24th 2000:

          (three documents)

          Hardly news for anyone, and all sourced from USA material. Wheras the report i metioned and gave a link to above, is also sourced from the USA and is dated 10th April 2019.

          Also the Serbian astrophysicist Milutin Milankovitch gives no baseline for the cyclic data for the Milankovitch cycles in any of those reports and it appears no one else has either.

          There is no conclusion or even an indication in the NASA Solar Observatory Milankovitch reports that the solar radiation temperature change effect of the very long term Milankovitch cycle has evidenced itself in the 21st century, nor does the Hal Turner Radio Show from which the Natural News article was sourced say that.

          So in fact there is and was no such claim that we are in the solar radiation temperature change of a Milankovitch cycle from the NASA Solar Observatory at the moment apart from the fact that it is an ongoing cycle.

        • So i did a little checking to make sure:

          Says no, gradual climate change due to orbital variations is an ongoing event, but evidence suggests that we are not in the solar radiation temperature change phase of a Milankovitch cycle, “But there lies the rub. We are in an ice-melting phase of the Milankovitch cycle now, where the Earth’s orbit is closer to circular and the Earth’s tilt is closer to perpendicular. But CO2 levels aren’t declining – partly because we’ve chopped a lot of trees and forests down, but mostly because of anthropogenic CO2 production. Without the limiting factor of declining CO2 we’ve seen in previous Milankovitch cycles, presumably the ice is just going to keep on melting as the albedo of the Earth surface declines.

          “This departure is so dramatic that it has instigated a new era. According to some studies, there is enough evidence to state that we have departed the Holocene and entered the Anthropocene. Simply put, based on the evidence, mankind has forced the Earth climate system to depart from it’s natural cycle forcing.”

          Also that more recent NASA science report made in Jan. 8, 2013, makes no conclusion or indication that the recent climate change is caused by the extreme stage of a solar radiation temperature change phase of the ongoing long term Milankovitch cycle. However long term cycles do of course have a long term effect over hundreds of thousands of years, but solar radiation has not increased at all significantly to cause such an effect as yet. And that is the same USA organisation as the NASA Solar Observatory, and i am sure they would have mentioned it if it was the case.

          The entire .pdf document is linked here:

          The answer seems to be no, we are not in the extreme stage of a solar radiation temperature change cycle in the 21st century, and apparently no one is saying we are, unless of course Mr Adams knows something NASA does not?

          Well, that was fun! But that Is enough of that for NASA anyway.

      • Lock the Gates: I totally agree about your points regarding Milankovich cycles. I’ve worked on them quite a lot in the past and they’re effects are well documented although i think we’re probably missing quite a bit of understanding regarding the positive feedbacks that give them so much impact on the geological record. I guess my main wish would that you would be so keen to produce “fact checks” are much of the crap that the antis write on here.

        • Rant definition: 1. to speak, write or shout in a loud, uncontrolled, or angry way, often saying confused or silly things: 2. a long, angry, and confused speech.

          I have checked. ‘Rant’ is not a material planning consideration but give it a go at the next planning meeting to try and get councillors on your side. Might as well give it a go. Nothing else has worked so far.

    • Not relevant to the planning process which is determined by the Mineral Planning Authority which is the County Council. So no need to take into consideration the application in the context of planning regs.

      • Very relevant,

        Mineral planning authorities follow government ‘guidance’. The overarching policies are contained in the NPPF

        Paragraph 144 of the 2019 NPPF

        When considering ‘ANY’ planning application, local planning authorities should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm resulting from the proposal, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

        West lancs objected correctly using NPPF policy

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