PLANNING chiefs have given a controversial application for gas extraction in Davyhulme the green light on what was dubbed ‘very sad day for the people of Trafford’.

On Thursday October 8, the application to drill for Coal Bed Methane (CBM) near the M60 Barton Bridge, between the motorway and United Utilities, was considered by Trafford Council’s planning committee.

Planning permission had been granted back in 2010 but energy company, IGas, sought to extend the period of time within which the planning permission could be implemented by three years.

Opposition to the application was strong, with representation from residents and environmental groups, but the decision was made to approve the application.

Peter Kilvert, chairman of Breathe Clean Air Group (BCAG), said: “Members of the Breathe Clean Air Group are extremely disappointed that Trafford councillors, the so-called leaders of our community, have failed to protect the people again.

“The ethos of Trafford Council allowing dirty, air polluting business ventures to proliferate, instead of protecting the health of its community has got to change.

“Statements from IGas about having a clean process and being monitored by the Environment Agency are laughable. We appreciate the efforts of five Labour councillors and a Lib Dem councillor who opposed the proposal, but it's a very sad day for the people Trafford.”

Ali Abbas, co-ordinator of Manchester Friends of the Earth, said: “We’re very disappointed that Trafford council has meekly waved through plans to drill for gas in Davyhulme, when they know full well it will expose beleaguered residents to yet more air pollution and make climate change worse."

The Messenger asked the council to comment on the decision to approve the proposal.

In a statement, Trafford Council said: “Trafford Council confirmed the decision of the planning committee to approve this planning application.

“The planning committee's decision had, as with all planning applications, been taken in line with national guidelines and after careful consideration of all the relevant information provided within the officer report and by those speaking at the committee meeting.”

An IGas spokesperson said the company was pleased that the planning committee granted renewal of planning permission for the site. 

The spokesperson added: "It demonstrates how industry can work to successfully mitigate operational impacts and local concerns, particularly in this case with respect to air quality.”

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