This past Tuesday evening (20 August), Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray and Councillor Archie Dryburgh attended a public meeting in Canonbie to hear views on extracting methane gas from the surrounding area.
Commenting on the extraction plans, Dr Murray said:
“I believe that the next step is for the public inquiry into Dart Energy’s plans to bore 22 coal-bed methane wells near Airth to include Canonbie so that a full investigation can be completed. I have written to the Scottish Minister for Local Government and Planning, requesting this expansion. I have also requested that if the inquiry cannot be extended, whether it is possible to impose a moratorium on further development at Canonbie until the results on the inquiry into coal bed methane extraction in Airth are published. The results of the inquiry would clearly have relevance to Canonbie and it would seem foolish to press ahead with any further development here until these are known.”
Councillor Dryburgh added:
“Although planning permission was originally granted by the Council with only one objection, many residents felt they did not have enough information about the proposals to raise objections to the plans, as the only presentations provided to them were from the developers. Recent publicity regarding both fracking and coal bed methane extraction has resulted in the community now being more aware of concerns surrounding both the techniques, the number of well sites and the effect on the surrounding area.”