Ballinlea ‘fracking’ objectors lobby Planning chief

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“It’s not too late to stop this.” That’s the message from Ballinlea Resident Group as they approach Thursday’s deadline for lodging objections to Rathlin Energy’s plans to explore and drill for petroleum in the Rathlin Basin.

However, Rathlin Energy who were granted one of two licences to drill for oil or gas on the north coast, say they are “committed to safe, compliant and environmentally conscious operations”.

Last week, a public meeting was held in the Ferry Terminal in Ballycastle during which Fracking Free campaigner Vanessa Vine addressed the gathering.

Now Ballinlea Residents Group - who fear that Rathlin Energy will use hydraulic frcturing or fracking in its operations - are urging concerned members of the public to respond to the company’s proposals by April 17th.

Rathlin Energy provided additional information to Planning chiefs in March on the subjects of air quality, light, ecology, noise and the habitats of badgers, bats, otters and birds.

However, Ballinlea objectors have lobbied the Principal Planning Officer with concerns over public health, alleged public misinformation, damage to landscape and local environment and damage to the local economy, especially tourism and agriculture.

“Given the public health, environmental and economic dangers it will cause, I urge you to reject this planning application,” reads the letter of objection.

The closing date for responses is Thursday.