Keynsham residents against natural gas extraction plans

A core of shale rock Image copyright bbc
Image caption Gas is a natural by-product of shale rock

More than 500 residents near Bath have submitted objections against proposals to extract natural gas in the area.

UK Methane wants to test if land in Keynsham is suitable for coal bed methane extraction.

A total of 560 residents have signed a petition against the proposal, being considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The process involves drilling a bore hole and using explosives or water to force gas to the surface.

Bristol East Labour MP Kerry McCarthy urged the council to turn down the application for the operation on the site, close to the Hicks Gate roundabout.

The deadline for comments on the proposals is on Wednesday.

"There are legitimate environmental and safety concerns that need to be addressed by government before, I believe, exploratory drilling should be allowed to take place here or elsewhere," Ms McCarthy said in her objection.

'Extremely dangerous'

"Extracting gas from coal-beds has proved to be extremely dangerous in the past.

"How will UK Methane store their contaminated water? Will Bristol's beaches and rivers be contaminated by the 75,000 litres of chemicals left in the wastewater per fracking operation?

"The voices of residents must also be heard".

A council spokesman said the authority would "not comment on live planning applications" but expected the proposals to go before the planning committee.

Gerwyn Williams, from UK Methane, has previously said coal bed methane extraction was already used safely worldwide.

"There's been coal mining in Bath for the past 500 years and it hasn't damaged anything," he said.

"We're as concerned as any that we preserve the Bath Spa."

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