FRACKING licences have been awarded to energy giants, giving them the opportunity to frack on any land in Knutsford, including Tatton Park.
The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) – the UK’s oil and gas regulator – announced that 159 onshore blocks under the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round are being formally offered to some energy firms. These blocks are being incorporated into 93 onshore licences and one of the firms, INEOS, has been awarded three licences in Cheshire, with one of them covering Knutsford, going from Altrincham down to Goostrey. The other two license areas cover Northwich and surrounding villages, and Winsford.
The English Liberal Democrats voted at Conference this year to ban fracking and Tatton Lib Dems are deeply opposed to fracking in the Tatton constituency.
Residents from Knutsford and High Legh gathered by the roundabout in Knutsford this weekend with posters which said ‘Frack Free Everywhere’. The protest ran in line with a national ‘solidarity day’ against fracking, which included more than 30 events across Great Britain.
Gareth Wilson, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate and chair for Tatton constituency attended the rally.
"I was utterly flabbergasted when a licence for exploratory drilling was granted to fracking company INEOS under the majority of the Tatton constituency,” he said.
“In the last government the Lib Dems fought the Conservatives tooth and nail to secure safeguards to protect huge areas of the UK from fracking, including national parks and sites of scientific interest - unfortunately almost of all these safeguards have been removed since May 2015.
“I was delighted with the turnout considering the action group has only recently formed and once the news gets out to more people we expect even bigger demonstrations in future.”