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Make Fracking Decisions Public Call

(December 30, 2015)

Councillors at county hall are being challenged to ensure that all future planning applications for test drilling or hydraulic fracturing go to the planning committee.

"I strongly feel that the next meeting of the full council vote to stop any future applications being decided on the current system of powers delegated to planning officers," said Warminster Town Councillor Paul Macdonald.

"When and if a formal application comes in for fracking I want the plans to have the widest possible scrutiny," said Cllr. Macdonald.

"The only way to ensure that this happens is for them to go before the area planning committee members at their meetings that are open to the public.

"It would be wholly wrong for the public not to be involved in these decisions especially as locally we now face coal bed seam extraction."

In September Cllr. Macdonald supported by fellow Independent councillor Steve Dancey successfully proposed a corporate policy that sees Warminster Town Council opposed to fracking.

"I am extremely concerned that we get this right as even a local senior Unitary councillor whose role sees him responsible for health and well-being does not seem to know what he is talking about," argued Cllr. Macdonald.

"It is in black and white in the minutes of the meeting when we established our stand on this issue that Cllr. Keith Humphries said he did not support our motion because in Australia it is coal bed seam which is different from in the UK.

"Councillor Humphries said that Wiltshire Council had been looking at this for a long time, and as Cabinet Minister with the portfolio for health he had been involved.

"If this is the case then it is time that it gets much better circulation so that we now hear about the problems that occur down under as the area around Warminster will be 'coal bed seam' exploitation if they go ahead.

"And one last demand of county hall at this moment. Not only the parish that the fracking application relates to is consulted but each neighbouring parish as well."

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