Council bosses have admitted that public fears over the safety of fracking could have an impact on development plans in East Dunbartonshire.
Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire Council’s Director of Development and Regeneration, said 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 likely that the council would continue with this ‘cautious approach’ in its next Local Development Plan.
The contentious issue of fracking has set alarm bells ringing throughout East Dunbartonshire, with many residents organising public meetings to voice their worries.
Protest group Don’t Frack the ‘Briggs is hosting a public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 19 November in Bishopbriggs Academy, while the 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 17 November in Bishopbriggs Academy, had been taken to let residents air their worries about plans to frack under homes in Woodhill.
Westhill resident and Frack Off From Lennoxtown member Jacqueline McGuire has organised a meeting to take place in Campsie Memorial Hall on Wednesday 12 November and said it was vital that community groups came together.
She added: “It’s imperative that people get informed about about the risks of fracking - it would be utterly insane to allow this industry to get a foothold here.
“Only by acting together as a network can we successfully defend ourselves from this industry.”