THE Friends of the Earth have slammed gas drilling plans due to be put before Trafford Council tonight.

The environmental charity has written again to Trafford Council planning committee urging members to reject plans for a coal bed methane site near Davyhulme.

The council’s planning committee is due to decide on the planning application for land near the M60 from Island Gas tonight at Trafford Town Hall.

Friends of the Earth said that there are a number of ‘serious flaws’ in the council planning officers' recommendation for approval.

Pete Abel, a Manchester Friends of the Earth member and Trafford resident, said: "It is astonishing that Trafford Council planners have not required IGas to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment when EIAs are now being regularly required of unconventional oil and gas activities submitted to local planning authorities in England."

"Granting planning permission for 25 years' worth of unconventional fossil fuel production without fully taking into account the environmental, climate change and air quality impacts would be a serious dereliction of our councillors' duty to local residents."