Risk assessment for schools near ‘permitted’ development sites

Hi Steve,

This situation is at Blackpool, not Shropshire, but don’t forget that the whole of Shropshire is licensed for gas drilling, including Shrewsbury itself.  The geology of Shropshire is admitted to be unsuitable for drilling and incidents could occur when faults are inadvertently hit, or incompetence takes place as is always a likelihood with the companies doing the drilling being high risk cowboy outfits.

The way Councils are being bypassed as regards planning permission decisions for drilling, is pushing the battle into the courts where local people are seeking injunctions.  One has just been issued by a court regarding Preston New Rd.
These parents of the schools under threat brought the case.  When Councils wish to oppose developments but are being bypassed, this is where we now are.
I would ask of Shropshire Fire Service and West Mercia Police are aware as to which gases might be released by a drilling blow-out were drilling to become ‘permitted development’.  My experience of contacting the Fire Service recently was that the teams were being told that the nature of the gases being released by a fire were not their concern.  I pointed out that the gases appeared to be toxic in my report asking for help, if you remember, which they tried to channel to Environmental Health.
In the event of a drilling incident, there needs to be a roads policy, a gas report as to what types of gas are likely to be released.  Local doctors need to know how to handle the people who suffer gas ingress, and be prepared, as do local hospitals.  Schools need to be given the information as to what gases might be drifting onto their property as do hospitals and so on.
There is no one attending to these hazards in Shropshire.  The permission to drill if Conservative policy goes ahead of permitted development might be happening much sooner than people think.
I hope you don’t mind but this letter is too important to keep confidential.  I will make it open to those who want to read it.
If drilling does go ahead, Shropshire water could also be affected, and Severn Trent should be planning how to provide water in the event that the River Severn is made toxic by spills.
Your sincerely,
Tap – as sent to Councillor Steve Davenport of Shropshire County Council.  He has special responsibility for Roads
He replied saying he supported the letter and has shared it through his colleagues at. Shropshire County Council
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