Greenpeace website warns homeowners they could be fracked

Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, left, joins activists at Balcombe.

A Greenpeace “property” website is warning homeowners in Courier Country they could be fracked.

The site,Wrongmove, allows householders to enter their postcode to find out if fracking the name given to the hydraulic fracturing process used to recover hard-to- reach gas and oil from deep underground could take place in their communities.

And according to the environmental campaign group, drilling for fossil fuels could take place under homes right across the central belt, Fife, Tayside and Angus.

Greenpeace is urging property owners to join its Not For Shale protest, challenging companies intending to drill near homes.

However, Kinross councillor Willie Robertson warned against scaremongering and said more needed to be known about the risks of fracking.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is an unproven technology. There is no reason to think it is either dangerous or not dangerous,” he said.

“If someone can prove it can be done safely, then I wouldn’t be against it. To immediately start scaremongering about something we don’t know the implications of is not very sensible.”

But Mr Robertson said local authorities should be given guidelines for considering fracking applications. This concern was echoed by fracking opponent Councillor Mark Ruskell of the Green Party.

Mr Ruskell said: “Companies like Dart Energy are targeting Scotland because the Scottish Government has failed to bring forward any planning policy on unconventional gas including fracking.”

While some see fracking as providing a useful energy source amid rising fuel costs, environmentalists have condemned it as unsafe and questioned its potential to lower bills.

Leila Deen, head of energy at Greenpeace, said: “With the British Geological Society’s recent announcement of their intention to survey the shale gas lying under the central Scottish lowlands, Scottish communities should be on alert that fracking rigs could appear sooner than they thought.

“We hope those at risk of being fracked will join people across the UK who are part of the Wrongmove legal block in saying ‘not under my land you don’t’.”

Dart Energy, which has drilling licences around Stirling and Fife, said it had no plans to frack.