NEWS that South Trafford could be opened up to fracking is causing ripples across the borough.

The Trafford Liberal Democrat Group – Cllrs Ray Bowker, Tony Fishwick and Jane Brophy - said they were shocked at the government’s ‘surprise’ pre-Christmas announcement that a raft of new licences were awarded to explore for oil and gas on the mainland UK, including South Trafford.

The licence would allow for a planning application to be made by INEOS to begin exploration and if this is successful, potential commercial fracking in Altrincham, Bowdon, Broadheath, Hale and Timperley.

Cllr Brophy said she had raised the concern about of fracking in the borough two years ago and highlighted that, back in 2014, the Trafford Council passed a motion that it was ‘opposed to fracking until such a time it can be proved to be safe’.

“I call on all parties in Trafford to re-affirm their opposition to fracking in Trafford,” said Cllr Brophy. “Any developments of fracking could have severe implications for residents, from even greater congestion on the roads Altrincham and Timperley to issues with their property. I would have to oppose any planning application for fracking in my ward in the interests of my residents.”

The announcement has also come up against opposition from Manchester Friends of the Earth. Damian Cross, a Sale resident and volunteer with Manchester Friends of the Earth, said: “This is terrible news for local people whose lives could be blighted by noise and pollution from the fracking process.

"Not only that, it beggars belief that just days after signing a global climate deal in Paris, the government is opening up huge swathes of the country to drill for yet more of the fossil fuels that are making climate change worse.

"We trust that councillors will keep the promise they made in November 2014 to oppose fracking in Trafford because of the risks to local residents and the environment."

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