A FORTY-MILE pipeline stretching from Northwich to Wirral would have a detrimental affect on wildlife, campaigners say.
The ambitious scheme to build the pipeline from Rudheath to Bromborough to create nine caverns to store natural gas will go before a planning meeting this week.
The King Street Gas Storage Project aims to help meet Government priorities in creating stores of gas for the 20 million homes nationally which rely on it for cooking and heating.
The plan is to use water from the Mersey, piped to Northwich, to dissolve salt and create the underground caverns in which the gas would be stored.
The resulting salty water would then be pumped back into the river.
King Street Energy (Cheshire) Ltd has submitted planning applications to the authorities in Cheshire and Wirral,
Cheshire’s planning officials recommend it is approved when the planning committees meet this week.
But Wirral Wildlife has formally objected, raising concerns including fears about the discharge of salt water back into the Mersey. The RSPB called for increased monitoring of saline discharge, but made no formal objection.
Hilary Ash, conservation officer with Wirral Wildlife, said: “The idea of the project is questionable not least because former gas fields in the North Sea are now being used for gas storage. That seems a much more sensible idea, because infrastructure is already there.”