Council calls for moratorium on fracking

Owen McNeil of Don't Frack the Briggs speaking at a recent protest at Ineos, Grangemouth
Owen McNeil of Don't Frack the Briggs speaking at a recent protest at Ineos, Grangemouth

North Lanarkshire Council has called on the Scottish Government to implement an immediate moratorium on fracking.

The council took the step after councillors raised concerns about the method of extracting gas from underground shale.

The issue is currently a hot topic with opposition groups established in Milngavie, Bearsden, Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and beyond.

Councillor James Coyle, convener of planning and transportation at the council, explained: “Councillors across all parties are concerned that not enough is known about the impact and safety of fracking and other unconventional methods of gas extraction.

“We are not in a position to impose a moratorium in North Lanarkshire under existing planning law, as all applications must be dealt with on their merits. But the Scottish Government can and should act immediately by imposing a moratorium on all applications for fracking across the country.

“The Scottish Government have used the excuse in the past that they do not control mineral gas extraction rights, but this is an excuse which will not wash.

“The Smith Commission recommends that control over extraction rights should be devolved, but the Scottish Government shouldn’t wait. They can do something about this right now, using their existing powers, and they should do so to provide reassurance to residents across North Lanarkshire and beyond.

“Fracking is an issue for huge swathes of Scotland and it shouldn’t be up to individual councils to deal with something which has national implications.”