Sheffield takes tough stand against fracking

Sheffield has taken a formal stand against fracking with a new council policy that automatically opposes it.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 09:34 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 09:37 am
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed with fracking protestors

The council will write into its planning policies a ‘presumption’ against any request to drill for shale gas – which means it will take an automatic stand against fracking.

It was a surprise win for the Liberal Democrats who came up with the suggestion and were pleased to see it approved by all parties at full council.

Sheffield now joins the ten local authorities that make up Greater Manchester who have all adopted a region-wide policy of opposition to fracking.

Lib Dem Leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Fracking is old fashioned, we need to move away from old technologies and move towards renewable energy if we are serious about tackling climate change.

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“Fracking in the United States has decimated areas and communities here in the UK are up in arms and don’t want it.”

Daniel Carey-Dawes, infrastructure policy manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, welcomed Sheffield’s policy but warned the Government could still overrule it.

He said: “As yet another sizeable local authority joins the long list of those firmly against fracking, the question remains why the Government seems intent on overruling local democracy with its latest fracking proposals.

“Councils who are on the doorstep of fracking locations – current or potential – have a duty to represent the serious concerns of their local electorate about their countryside and environment, but this ability will be ripped away if the Government ploughs ahead regardless.”