Community groups put fracking on the agenda

Concerns over fracking have  led to a number of demonstrations such as this one at the Scottish Parliament.
Concerns over fracking have led to a number of demonstrations such as this one at the Scottish Parliament.

A huge crowd is expected at a public meeting next week when the controversial mining technique known as fracking tops the agenda.

Protest group ‘Don’t Frack the Briggs’ has invited local politicians to face residents at its public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, November 19, in Bishopbriggs Academy.

Meanwhile, East Dunbartonshire Council’s director of development and regeneration, Thomas Glen, told the Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs Herald that even though the council had yet to receive any enquiries or planning applications related to the controversial mining technique, it planned to take residents’ concerns into account.

He said: “During the Scottish Government’s recent review of planning policy in Scotland, East Dunbartonshire’s Development and Regeneration Committee submitted views noting that there is widespread public concern about the potential impact of fracking on both the environment and human health.

“Its report stated that until fracking technology has been further examined and tested, the council is likely to resist proposals.”

Mr Glen added that it was probable that the council would continue with this ‘cautious approach’ in its next Local Development Plan, which outlines the future consideration of planning applications and development in the area.

In spite of the council’s intentions, the contentious issue of fracking has set alarm bells ringing throughout East Dunbartonshire. Scores of residents have come together to form community protest groups.

Woodhill Residents’ Group is devoting its forthcoming annual general meeting to a discussion on fracking.

Group chairman Donald Macdonald said the decision to clear the agenda for the meeting, which takes place at 7pm on Monday, November 17, in Bishopbriggs Academy, had been taken to let residents air their worries about plans to frack under homes in Woodhill.

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed into rock to release the gas inside.