Charter for the people of Airth blasts Dart drilling

The handover of the charter opposing Dart Energy's drilling application.
The handover of the charter opposing Dart Energy's drilling application.
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Residents concerned about a controversial coalbed methane planning application have aired their views with a unique community charter.

The proposal by Dart Energy to drill for unconventional gas (UG) with 11 new wells at a site near Airth has raised concerns over environment and health impacts.

Last month, the company appealed to the Scottish Government over the non-determination of its application by Falkirk Council.

However, councillors are now urging that a public inquiry into Dart’s plans be held, as well as requesting the appeal be refused on the grounds that it had insufficient detailed information to determine the original and complex application.

People in Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood, along with the community council, drew up the charter which they say “sets out a clear vision of what the community values and wants to safeguard”.

Larbert resident Dr Fiona Williams said: “Evidence from other countries shows UG drilling can cause significant health problems, and many of the impacts are not yet fully understood.

“I’m concerned about the health of my children and don’t want my family exposed to these risks.”

The document was presented to Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald who will pass it on to the Scottish Cabinet.

Acknowledging the transition to a low-carbon economy was a strategic priority for the government and UG production could help, he said: “The views of those affected by this development in the Airth area must be considered, and of course there are impacts on residents in the neighbouring constituencies.”

Dart Energy has previously said clarity is needed on its application.