VILLAGERS are standing up to energy companies who want to drill holes in the Cheshire countryside searching for gas.
A group of Crewe-by-Farndon residents has been formed in opposition to plans which would see various rural sites transformed into drilling rigs.
Scottish firm Composite Energy has already had licences granted to set up sites at Hargrave and Caldecott. Crewe-by-Farndon is next on the agenda.
In response to the drilling project, Crewe-by-Farndon resident Justin Paul, also of Chester firm J10 Planning, has drafted a 17-page objection document, undersigned by 20 others.
It claims that protected species such as bats, barn owls, badgers and reptiles would be put at risk.
He said: “It is clear that the proposal shall be harmful to, and have a detrimental impact upon, biodiversity interests in the locality.
“The recent installation at Caldecott was audible by residents living only 500 metres away from our village.
“We believe that the quality of life of residents, the protection of the environment are worth a lot more than the expediency of allowing such a damaging development to proceed regardless of its temporary nature.”
If Cheshire West and Chester Council grant a licence then drilling will take place for 60 days on a 24-hour basis. Coal would be extracted and taken away for analysis.
If coal bed methane is detected in large amounts then the energy firm is likely to apply for permission to set up a larger drilling rig.
Composite Energy spokesman Peter Reilly said: “The wells would be temporary and once the rig is off location, the field would be returned to agricultural use. If the company finds a sensible amount of coal bed methane, then a new planning application will be submitted.”