Strong “no” to gas plans under Wyre

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FLEETWOOD alone has registered more than 2,000 objections to plans to store gas under Wyre.

Residents from the town were well represented among the 10,852 objections to Halite Energy’s plans to store thousands of tonnes of gas in salt caverns under the area.

The gas pods would be just half a mile away from Fleetwood.

And as the letters were posted to the Planning Inspectorate, Lancashire County Council lodged its official objection to the company’s proposals to pump huge amounts of natural gas into the 19 purpose-built caverns between Fleetwood and Preesall.

It will be the fourth time the application is considered and members of the Protect Wyre Group hope the 10,852 objections received from local residents will leave no doubt the scheme is not wanted by locals.

Chairman Ian Mulroy said: “We hoped to reach the 10,000 mark, that is the number we have received following the previous applications, so we are delighted to have almost reached 11,000 this time around.

“More than half of these responses included additional comments which will leave the inspectors in no doubt this scheme isn’t wanted here.”

Protect Wyre vice chairman Howard Phillips and Mr Mulroy thanked those who delivered the leaflets.

The 10,852 responses also included more than 4,000 by residents in Thornton and Cleveleys and 3,000 in Poulton.

The most common concern regarding Halite’s scheme was the fear of gas migration from the caverns to Fleetwood, Thornton, Cleveleys and other Over Wyre villages.

Joining the opposition is Wyre Tidal Energy (WTE), the group behind plans for a tidal barrage scheme at Fleetwood.

WTE director, Bob Long, said: “If Halite wins its campaign then the barrage cannot go ahead.

“If the Wyre Tidal Barrage does go ahead then the town of Fleetwood gets a much needed lifeline.

“Fleetwood needs a massive remedy to solve some massive problems, most of which are directly related to the lack of local employment, and little to no opportunity for young people leaving school.

“Very few jobs are available and even fewer, above the minimum rate of pay.

“The barrage can change that.”

Halite insists its plans are safe and say the proposals would be expected to pump £600m into the local economy over an eight-year construction programme that would also create 510 new jobs in the area. A decision on the plans is expected next year.