Where was my warning?

Les Holden at his Knott End home close to where Halite has been testing the ground.
Les Holden at his Knott End home close to where Halite has been testing the ground.

An outraged resident living close to a controlled explosion site has accused the company in charge of testing the ground of ignoring his complaints.

Les Holden, 71, of Wyre Side, Knott End, is one of two people to have lodged official complaints with Halite Energy over their exploratory tests in Over Wyre.

Mr Holden claims he was not given a leaflet informing him of the explosions, carried out by TESLA on behalf of Halite, would take place.

He said: “I’ve complained to Wyre Council, Lancashire County Council and Halite about the explosions.

“I’m annoyed because I wasn’t told about this.

“When United Utilities are doing work they always give notice, but Halite are not concerned.

“I wasn’t aware this was going to be so near the properties.

“They assured people they would hear a thud but it was more than that and when the house was shaking like it did we are bound to be worried about damage.”

Halite does not currently have planning permission to store gas at Preesall as it is waiting for the result of a judicial review over the planning inspectorate’s refusal to allow it.

Keith Budinger, chief executive of Halite claims the vibrations caused by the testing were within industry guidelines and damage to Mr Holden’s property was unlikely.

He said: “All seismic testing undertaken by TESLA is carried out to very strict industry standards to establish safe distances from properties to minimise any risk of damage and ensure the work is carried out within agreed tolerances.

“However, we take all complaints of this nature seriously and will endeavour to arrange to meet with Mr Holden to discuss his concerns further.

“The omission of his house in the leaflet drop informing residents of the seismic survey was an oversight for which we have apologised and he now has a copy of the leaflet.”

What are Halite’s plans?

Residents have previously described how loud bangs caused their ornaments to shake when the seismic testing began at the beginning of the month.

One Fleetwood resident described being interrupted by ‘explosions’ during the exploratory tests along the Wyre estuary.

And Coun Phil Orme, a Preesall Town Councillor told The Gazette he had received around half a dozen complaints about the work.

He said: “We live on a platform of clay at the end of the village and with the dry weather you can feel it under your feet, the lady next door thought her roof was coming in.”

If the company is given permission for its ambitious plans, it will carve out 19 caverns in the salt strata beneath Pressall to store 900 million cubic metres of natural gas.

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