We’re still fighting gas plans in Wyre

Battle ground: the River Wyre estuary where gas could be stored
Battle ground: the River Wyre estuary where gas could be stored

Wyre Council has denied it has withdrawn all its objections to Halite Energy’s gas storage plans for the River Wyre estuary.

The rebuttal came after a prominent anti-gas store campaigner told The Courier that he had been told by Wyre officials they had “confirmed that they now have no objections to any of Halite’s proposals”.

But the council has said that as part of the on-going public inquiry it has signed several statements of common ground (SOCGs) with Halite.

In a statement this week the council said: “Wyre Council has signed a number of SOCGs, which have been within its remit and expertise to do so. We have NOT signed up to any SOCGs relating to geology, ecology or detailed landscape impact as these were a matter solely for Lancashire County Council.”

The Wyre official added concerns remained about the impact on the landscape, risks to local residents and people using footpaths in the area.

Wyre also wants the inquiry panel to “satisfy itself about the stability of the former caverns and the risk they may pose to any proposed above or below ground infrastructure before any consent is granted.”

One of Wyre’s concerns is Halite’s plan to discharge brine into the Irish Sea, which has been given the okay by the Environment Agency. The council said: “Just because there is no need for the mineral today, it does not mean that there won’t be in the future.”

Keith Budinger, chief executive of Halite Energy said: “We have worked closely with Wyre Council to address their concerns. As a result we have now signed a number of Statements of Common Ground, which are an important part of our application which is being examined by the Planning Inspectorate.”