Green light for gas test drilling near Wrexham

Image caption, Composite Energy is identifying gas sources in former mining areas

Test drilling for natural gas near Wrexham has been given the go-ahead.

Seven people lodged opposition to the drilling close to the village of Penley, citing concerns about pollution, noise and traffic disruption.

But Wrexham council's planning committee approved a 60-day trial after being satisfied that disruption would be kept to a minimum.

Composite Energy will sink a bore hole on farmland off Hollybush Lane.

The company has been told that the area must also be returned to its original form after the temporary dig.

The company will drill around the clock in an attempt to find anticipated stocks of naturally occurring methane in coal seams.

It is part of a £15m contract to identify gas sources across former mining areas in Wales, Scotland and England.

Two of the 18 UK sites earmarked by Composite Energy are in the Wrexham area.

The company is in the process of seeking permission for another bore hole at Bowling Bank near Wrexham Industrial Estate.

Planning consent for this operation was originally refused last year, but Composite Energy has lodged an appeal.

The matter will be decided at a public inquiry next month.

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