Councillors look for policy statement on ‘fracking’

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The Mearns Leader revealed last July that parts of Kincardine and Mearns could be opened up for

‘‘ fracking.’’

This was after they were included in the 14th onshore licensing round by the UK Government Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Responding to concerns raised by local residents, Scottish Labour councillors Alison Evison and Raymond Christie pushed for a policy statement on fracking to be included in the next Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan.

Last week Aberdeenshire councillors agreed to state in the Development Plan that any future applications for fracking operations could be considered properly through the application of policies on protecting resources, natural heritage and landscape.

This would ensure that the interests of local communities would be given due consideration.

The Scottish Labour Leader, Jim Murphy, went further and said: “If I am elected First Minister in 2016 there will be no onshore fracking in Scotland until it has been shown beyond all doubt that it can be carried out safely.

“The SNP Government in Edinburgh already has a veto over fracking through planning and permitting.

“The First Minister should use these powers now to stop any fracking taking place in Scotland.”