GUEST BLOG: North Lanarkshire Community Scare Off Coal-Bed Methane Application

Reach CSG Ltd submitted a planning application on 23/11/11 on the grounds of Devro Ltd ,Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire to erect a facility for the Exploration of CBM.

The application basically stated that their intention was to drill one borehole to a depth of 1000m, case the borehole to a depth of 100m and monitor the yield over a 2 year period. Notice of the application was posted on 21/12/11 in The Kirkintilloch Herald, which, whilst nearby is under the jurisdiction of East Dunbartonshire Council and not widely read in Moodiesburn.

As a result of this poor policy on advertising it was not immediately brought to the attention of the wider population until some residents of the nearby Glen Iris estate , which borders the grounds of Devro, took it upon themselves to make this known to all. Through a well organised leaflet campaign, posting flyers on bus shelters, making them available in shops and letterbox drops, they were instrumental in highlighting the Hazards involved and giving indication that expansion of facility could lead to Lateral Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing beneath the homes of the population.

They included a link to North Lanarkshire’s eplanning website and encouraged people to submit Formal Objections against this application. The objections raised reached the grand total of 209 and the residents group also distributed a Petition around the local shopkeepers, which raised a far greater number of signatures. Representation was made to Local Councillors, MSP’s, MP’s , MEP’s and the Press from the residents group and public and eventually Devro Ltd appeared to bow to public pressure , notifying Reach CSG to withdraw their application.This was made formal through the eplanning website on 27/2/12.The petition was not in fact submitted due to the withdrawal but is kept on file.

I believe that Reach CSG will be seeking alternative areas within our district and indeed within all areas permitted under their licence to capitalise on their investments If they are successful this can only serve to fulfil Capitalist Greed at the expense of the Environment, Ecology and the Populace. Hopefully some Politicians, listening to Public concerns, will be strong enough to ensure that comprehensive Legislation specific to these type of operations is pushed through soon before its too late to turn back the clock.

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