A leading councillor says any decision on controversial ‘fracking’ schemes would be based on suitability and not financial promises from the Prime Minster.
Coun Jim Creamer, chairman of environment and sustainability committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, reacted to David Cameron’s announcement this week that local authorities would receive all the business rates collected from the schemes, rather than the usual 50 per cent.
Coun Creamer said: “We welcome the acknowledgement from Government that there should be some financial benefit for local communities if sites are deemed to be suitable for shale gas schemes.
“However, any decision over whether permission is ever given for shale gas exploration and extraction in Nottinghamshire will be based on the suitability of the site in question, not financial incentives.
“We would need to be completely reassured that the environmental and safety concerns about fracking have been addressed before we can have confidence that the exploration and possible extraction of shale gas is right for Nottinghamshire and right for the UK’s energy mix.”
The Prime Minister was at a gas plant in Gainsborough on Monday to promote the potential scheme.
He says that interest in drilling for shale gas could create thousands of jobs and multi-billion pounds investment.
However, environmentalists fear hydraulic fracturing, - ‘fracking’- can lead to earth tremors and pollution of the areas being drilled.
Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into the ground to release previously untapped oil and gas reserves.
Some countries have even gone as far as banning the practice.
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire County Council stressed that no applications for exploration, testing or production of shale gas using fracking or any other method.