Anti-fracking campaigners are celebrating tonight after councillors at Cheshire West and Chester Council rejected an energy company’s plan to test a well in Ellesmere Port.
Earlier today, protesters marched to the Cheshire West and Chester Council’s HQ building in the city, where a planning committee decided the fate of the application.
The planning committee refused the application, by Island Gas Limited, handing campaigners the victory – although they are cautious that this could be overturned by central government, as a similar decision in Lancashire was.
The firm had hoped to mobilise its well test equipment, including a workover rig and associated equipment, to its existing site to perform a well test of the hydrocarbons encountered during the drilling of the well.
Protestors set out their fears that this would ultimately lead to fracking taking place in the area – which they are passionately opposed to.
Chester MP Chris Matheson said: “I’m pleased to see the council’s planning committee have tonight turned down an application to flow test a well in Ellesmere Port.”
He continued: “Fracking has been banned by countries all over the world, yet the pro-fracking Tory government in the UK has changed the law so that government ministers can overrule decisions made by local councils and impose fracking in local communities.”
Mr Matheson concluded: “Let’s hope that the message is clear from the people in Cheshire West and Chester to the Secretary of State in Westminster – not here, not now, not ever.”