Cheshire East will remain ‘fracking free’
January 13, 2014
Government proposals to develop the shale gas industry will be
“welcome” to some councils across the country – but are not right
for Cheshire East.
The measures, unveiled today, include allowing councils to keep
100 per cent off the business rates for shale gas projects, rather
than the usual 50 per cent.
Also, the shale gas industry has promised communities £100,000
for test drilling at potential sites and a further 1% of the
revenues if deposits are discovered.
Shale gas is extracted through the controversial fracking
technique, which involves deep-drilling with a mixture of water,
sand and chemicals in order to release hard-to-reach deposits of
Although the British Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,300
trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the north of England, Cheshire
East Council Leader Michael Jones has confirmed that there won’t be
any fracking projects in Cheshire East.
Cllr Jones explained: “Let me be clear, there are parts of the
country where local councils will welcome ministers’ offer to
benefit from shale gas extraction, however our main focus as a
council is on the exciting potential for geothermal technology in
“We believe this is a ‘game-changer’ for the borough, providing
renewable heat and energy on a significant scale and we are in
talks with the government to help us develop the site.”
He added: “Fracking may well be a useful technology for other
areas and good luck to them if it is, however the people of
Cheshire East have our assurance that there won’t be any in our
The Council is also investigating the use of other renewable
technologies such as advanced thermal treatments, which process
solid waste, to reduce carbon emissions and introduce a step change
in local energy production.