Photo by Steven Speed – Salford Star
PEEL `GAS AND OIL’ DIVISION TEAMS UP WITH IGAS ET AL
Peel Holdings – hardly the most popular company in Salford and the North West – is now promoting itself within the fracking industry as being able to help get community consent and licenses for shale gas exploration.
Victoria Merton from Peel Gas and Oil says that the company “has a strong track record in site development and public consenting”. Peel tried and failed to get anti-fracking protesters at Barton Moss evicted from its land, while virulent community campaigns against its housing developments have been a feature in Salford over recent years.
Peel Holdings, which rented its land to IGas Energy for exploratory drilling atBarton Moss, is currently positioning itself, via its ‘Oil and Gas’ division, as being able to help the fracking industry “move quickly through the licensing and consenting process and secure a supply chain in the UK which will underpin its success”.
Fracking companies are all chasing the so-called `social license’ – community consent – to begin controversial shale gas exploration in Salford and elsewhere, and Peel is attempting to cash in on the new energy sector by offering a service wooing the community as well as the authorities which give out planning permits. Peel Gas and Oil’s Victoria Merton, told the Shale Gas Investment Guide recently: “In 2008 IGas wanted to develop unconventional gas and Peel as a major landowner and infrastructure group, has a strong track record in site development and public consenting. That’s what Peel Gas and Oil offers: a development partnership providing IGas and companies like them with a trusted partner.”
Many people in Salford would take issue with this statement. In recent years, big community campaigns have been launched against Peel Holdings, including its plans for a racecourse in Worsley, building on green belt land at Burgess Farm and Barton Moss, peat extraction at Chat Moss and house building at Broadoak and Worsley, as well as its partnership with IGas at Barton Moss last winter, when the company tried unsuccessfully to evict anti-fracking protesters from the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp.
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