Hull sets out to limit fracking impact

Hull Council is considering its approach to fracking
Hull Council is considering its approach to fracking
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HULL City Council is promising to protect residents from the impact of the controversial fracking mining method.

Councillors are being asked to approve a policy which would commit the council to take action if fracking threatens to have an “adverse impact on the city”.

The document identifies possible threats to the city’s water supply, increased traffic and the carrying of “hazardous waste” through Hull as potential triggers for action.

It commits the council to “take such action as may be necessary to protect the community’s interests” from “other impacts” of fracking.

If agreed, the policy would also stop the authority doing anything to encourage fracking in the city or on land it owns.

A report to Hull City Council’s energy and infrastructure scrutiny committee suggests that it is unlikely that companies would seek to frack within the city but it could nevertheless feel the impact.

Examples offered include the use of a treatment works on the edge of Hull to deal with waste water produced by the process.

However, the report stresses that the policy will not be considered as part of any planning application related to fracking.

Councils have been warned that any attempt to impose an outright ban would leave their planning decisions open to legal challenge.

The Hull policy is the latest example of councils attempting to impose restrictions while staying within the law.

Ryedale Council recently voted to impose a moratorium on fracking in the district because of health and environmental concerns. Energy firm Third Energy is seeking to frack in Ryedale but the planning application will be considered by North Yorkshire County Council