Happy Valentine's Day! One thing that unites us all is our love for our community, whether it be coastal, agricultural, rural or town. We are all deeply worried about the impact of Halite Energy's huge infrastructure project on where we live and our daily lives. Unfortunately much of the fine detail is still missing and we don't seem to be able to get a fixed timetable for most of the development, when and if construction will start.
Meeting with Halite
On Friday 19th January 2018, four representatives from Halite Energy attended a No Gas Storage community meeting held at Knott End Golf Club. It was a lively and passionate debate attended by approximately 150 people from our communities and affected groups. Keith Budinger, Chief Executive gave a brief presentation, confirming the company is due to begin the construction of a new road from the A588 to ‘the marsh’ in early 2018. He indicated that the provision of gas in the UK was the biggest driver for the project. This was questioned given that the government recently published a paper stating gas security was not an issue in the UK. Numerous concerns were raised by the community including the ability of the road infrastructure to handle the construction traffic, subsidence, house prices, flooding, safety, the proximity to fracking sites and nuclear power plants, and the impact on livelihoods. There were also many questions on the daily discharge of 19,000 tonnes of salt into shallow waters off Rossall Point. You can read our notes here.
Halite is now beginning to send documents to Wyre Council - the relevant authority for many of the requirements in the Development Consent Order. If you look at the Wyre Council website and search for HALDIS you will find the documents that have been submitted to date including on temporary fencing, construction worker traffic, dust, light and decommissioning.
As the rain continues and Halite confirm that they will go ahead with the metal access road in Preesall as the first part of the development, our thoughts have turned to flood risk, particularly surface water run off and drainage. Many members of our communities are concerned that the development will negatively impact on flood risks to their homes as dykes and watercourses already struggle to cope. We will be discussing this issue along with those of traffic, noise and safety at our meeting on March 2nd. As preparation we have put together a short note with all the information on flood risk in one place. We'll be looking at the other areas too.
Our Next Meeting
It’s vital that we have the views and expertise of our local communities, so please come to the meeting on 2nd March (see above). We'll also be in the Knott End library between 10.30 and 11.30 on 16th March for anyone who doesn't get on-line, can't get to evening meetings or who would like to read some of the more recent documents.
In the media
Our politicians and representatives have been busy on this issue with Councillors Lorraine Beavers and Rob Fail calling for a rethink of Halite's plans. MP Paul Maynard shared his concerns on facebook including how he has written to Natural England following the extension of the Liverpool Bay special protection area. MP Cat Smith has featured her concerns regularly in columns in the Fleetwood Weekly and asked a follow-up question in parliament. Look out for us on Lancashire TV next week!
WE NEED YOU!
We are a small, but passionate group and we’re looking for volunteers. It’s vital that we work together as a community and so we need your help – whether it’s keeping us informed about Halite’s progress, telling us if you’re aware of anything that’s due to happen with regard to the gas storage project, or by helping us monitor Halite’s actions. If you can help, or have any relevant information to share, please get in touch.
Petition, petition, petition
Finally, don't forget to sign and share our petition on the brine outfall into the sea at Rossall. We have over 2,600 signatures already but would like at least 10,000.
Hope to see you soon,
Claire and Philippa
Originally sent out as an email in February 2018.
Written by volunteers from the No Gas Storage Campaign. If you would like to write a blog - get in touch!