BBC Countryfile is to include a feature on ‘fracking’ on Sunday 4th December and will be filming in the Mendip Hills next week for the programme.
‘Fracking’ is the term used for a process for extracting shale gas and coal bed methane and experts think that there are considerable reserves of the former in the Mendips area, although no planning applications for drilling processes and infrastructure have yet been referred to the AONB Unit for comment.
The AONB Unit is aware of concerns raised recently by Bath & North East Somerset Council that the process of fracking may result in the water courses leading to the natural hot springs in Bath being contaminated with pollutants from this process, or for the waters to adopt a different direction of travel through new fractures in the underlying rocks.
The AONB Unit stance at this stage is to continue to urge a very cautious approach to ‘fracking’. We would have serious reservations about the process taking place within the designated landscape with regard to impacts on the character of the landscape from buildings and structures, on aquifers and the water table and on SSSI’s and biodiversity.
Please go to our Planning page to read the Partnership Statement on “Fracking”.