Friends of the Earth says certainty needed

Dart Energy site
Dart Energy site

The company at the centre of a controversial planning application has hit back at critics who want to halt their development.

Dart Energy claim negative comments are “disingenuous” and “disrespectful”.

It proposes drilling for coal bed methane gas in the Airth area and last August submitted a planning application to both Falkirk and Stirling Councils.

Earlier this year the company lodged an appeal with Scottish Ministers over the length of time it had waiting for a decision allowing its proposal to go ahead.

Since the application became public, there has been a growing tide of protests, including residents living in the Larbert area and environmentalists from further afield.

The matter is now in the hands of the Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals and a reporter has been appointed to take the matter forward. There will be a conjoined appeal with the two local authorities and a pre-examination meeting will take place.

Dart submitted a lengthy ‘rebuttal statement’ in June and another document earlier this month.

It maintains the position that, along with Composite Energy before them, it has been drilling exploration and pilot wells in the area, “without incident and in full view”.

Douglas Bain, Dart’s UK general manager, said: “The company has answered all questions and objections in an open and honest matter, regrettably the same cannot be said for certain anti-hydrocarbon campaign groups.

“Rather than engage with us in a science-led debate, they use misleading data and scare tactics to negatively influence local opinion. Such tactics are not only disingenuous but also disrespectful to the communities they claim to represent.”