Company to submit fracking plans for land near Bath

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

A company is drawing up plans to start fracking near Bath.

UK Methane Limited has now scrapped plans to test if land close to the Hicks Gate roundabout in Keynsham would be suitable for coal bed gas extraction.

Director Gerwyn Williams said a new application would be resubmitted which will include permission to extract shale gas - known as fracking

Almost 600 residents signed a petition against the initial proposal.

'Full production'

Mr Williams added: "The level of information that is being requested is far higher than that for any other previous planning applications that we have been involved with in other parts of the country.

"We feel therefore, for the extra amount of work that is involved, that we will apply for a full production permission.

"Central government has carried out enough work to prove that shale gas production is safe and has recently lifted the moratorium on fracking."

Hydraulic fracturing is widely used across the US to exploit reserves of oil and gas that were once believed to be inaccessible.

But in the UK, the use of fracking was halted in 2011 after some minor earthquakes near Blackpool, Lancashire, were attributed to test wells being drilled by the energy company Cuadrilla.

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