Coventry & Warwickshire

Dozens at meeting over Warwickshire coal gas plan

Meeting
Image caption No UCG Warwickshire organised the public meeting

Dozens of people attended a meeting organised in protest at plans to extract gas from coal under fields.

Cluff Natural Resources wants to carry out deep underground coal gassification [UCG] from Ryton to the outskirts of Leamington, campaigners said.

No UCG Warwickshire, which organised the public meeting at St Andrew's Church House, Rugby, said it was worried about the environmental impact.

The firm has said the process is safe and is unlike fracking.

UCG is usually carried out under the sea, but new technology means drilling is possible horizontally as well as vertically.

'Great solution'

The process involves drilling deep into the ground and setting fire to the coal and extracting the resultant gas.

No UCG Warwickshire spokeswoman Claire Jordan said she was worried about the environmental impact as well as the effect the process could have on house prices in the area.

Image caption Mother of three Lorna Dunleavy said she was "very concerned"

She said: "There are alternatives to fossil fuels but they are not being used because they are not as profitable.

"Long term this could destroy the planet.

"This meeting is about people across England saying 'no we don't want this'.

"It's bigger than not in my back yard."

Anti-UCG campaigner Gareth Herd said: "This is unproven technology. It's being portrayed as a great solution, but we are worried about the potential for pollution.

"Sooner or later we are going to run out of fossil fuels and we will have to take the renewable route so why not start now?"

A member of the public who was at the meeting on Thursday evening, mother of three Lorna Dunleavy, 54, from Morris Close, Rugby, said she was "very concerned".

She added: "We know we need to find alternative energy but there is this dash for gas but we should be looking at renewables."

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