AN application to extend the construction time limit of a coal bed methane extraction site in Davyhulme was deferred by Trafford Council’s planning committee.

At a committee meeting on March 12, members expressed the need to delay until they have attended a technical briefing on the coal bed methane (CBM) process.

Energy company, IGas, already has planning permission for the site and has done since 2010, but it now seeks to extend the period of time within which the planning permission can be implemented by three years.

The main part of the 1.2 hectare site, where the CBM will be extracted, is located to the west of the M60 Barton Bridge, between the motorway and United Utilities’ Davyhulme Waste Water Treatment Works.

According to planning documentation, the area cited for the lateral drilling would span underneath Peel Energy’s recently approved Barton Renewable Enery Plant (BREP) site.

The planning documentation outlines that no rock fracturing or ‘fracking’ takes place during the process and that IGas has confirmed this.

CBM is described as an ‘unconventional gas’ resource, as it refers to gas trapped in deep underground rocks.

Trafford’s planning documentation describes CBM extraction as: “Pumping out the water that occurs naturally in the coal seams or ‘cleats’ to reduce the underground pressure on the coal so the gas can be collected.

“The cleats provide the pathways that enable the water to be drained out of the coal seam to release the gas.”

If plans are approved for the second time, IGas plans to erect a temporary 34m high drilling rig, drill two exploratory boreholes, install wells, erect portacabins, storage containers and an ancillary plant, as well as creating a new access road.

IGas declined Messenger’s request for comment.