Good news. FrackFreeDudleston is now going to be recognised as an official consultee to the planning application alongside the various Shropshire Council experts who provide input into these planning applications.  That gives more weight to our objections.

We have been told that having a united local community who are making their feelings known in this way is now considered to be a material planning consideration.  Right now (31st July 2014) we are approaching 470 objections which is fantastic for a rural community.

The draft group objection is here RESPONSE TO PLANNING APPLICATION Draft G .  Please do read it and let us know your comments.  The document doesn’t try to cover everything because it is just looking at key planning considerations.  It may well be that the planners will dismiss some of the points raised, but they definitely won’t dismiss them all and it will remain a powerful objection on behalf of the community!

If you object to this being a statement on your behalf then it is important that you contact us quickly.

If you know anyone who hasn’t yet made their opinion count, then please give them a gentle nudge.

Once comments have been received, the following letter will be sent to Shropshire Council planning along with the attached main objection statement.

Dear Kelvin

Thank you for agreeing to recognise FrackFreeDudleston as an official consultee to the planning application 14/02730/MAW.  The group represents the views of the people of Dudleston and the immediate surrounding area.  We OBJECT to this application.  A draft of the attached document has been circulated for comment to all members as well as being displayed on our public website.

FrackFreeDudleston is a group of concerned local residents who wish to oppose the Coal Bed Methane drilling application in a democratic manner.  The group was formed out of an initial public meeting and has since held two more public meetings.  The core organising committee was formed from people who volunteered for the role.  They meet regularly and minutes are captured at those meetings.  We also have a constitution that is appropriate to a group of our nature.

The name FrackFreeDudleston was chosen after careful committee deliberation.  The immediate threat is a Coal Bed Methane (CBM) drilling application which does not involve fracking.  However Dart Energy’s PEDL licence covers both CBM and shale.  Members of the public were told by Dart at their meetings that Dart would be coming back to drill for shale as well.  With Fracking being a widely used euphemism for the whole unconventional gas industry, we felt that it was accurate enough for the group name.

Although we are fighting a local campaign in our own particular style, the FrackFree style of name provides a connection to the wider national campaign against unconventional gas extraction.  We fully agree that new sources of energy are needed to replace the dwindling North Sea reserves, however wrecking communities like ours with the threat of converting them into a gas field is a crazy answer.  The unconventional gas industry is reckoned to need ten years and tens of thousands of wells before it will achieve meaningful production volumes of gas, and in that time there will be two general elections!

Best regards,