Halite to consider gas storage options

Anti gas storage campaigners celebrate their victory Over Wyre. Pictured front is Councillor June Jackson.
Anti gas storage campaigners celebrate their victory Over Wyre. Pictured front is Councillor June Jackson.

Energy firm Halite said it would examine the reasons behind the rejection of its gas storage application before deciding on its next move.

Commenting on the decision, Halite chief executive Keith Budinger said: “We are extremely disappointed by this decision.

“Halite and its team of consultants have worked strenuously over the past three years, during which our application has been scrutinised through a rigorous planning process.

“We will now need time to examine the reasons behind the turn down carefully before deciding on our next steps.

“I would like to thank all those organisations that we have worked with during this process: the Planning Inspectorate, statutory consultees and the local community.”

After a campaign against the gas plans by Protect Wyre Group and others, more than 10,000 objections were received from residents, including more than 4,000 from residents in Thornton and Cleveleys, 3,000 from Poulton, 2,000 from Fleetwood and around 320 in Blackpool.

After hearing the decision, Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw said: “It’s great news.

“The decision taken by the Department proves what campaigners have argued all along – that this environment is not considered safe to store large amounts of gas.”

Garry Payne, chief executive of Wyre Council, added: “While we have supported, and will continue to support, appropriate development, growth, investment and job creation in the borough, impact upon the open countryside and our communities cannot be ignored.

“The council considers the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse permission to be the right one.”