Shale gas found under Isle villages

A shale gas test site.
A shale gas test site.

Communities could be in line for a cash windfall following the discovery of shale gas in the area.

Isle MP Andrew Percy welcomed the find but campaigners want plans to extract the fossil fuel ditched because of its environmental impact.

Ministers have announced payments for residents who host controversial ‘fracking’ wells – where rock is fractured with high-pressure liquid to release the gas.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has established the presence of the gas underneath parts of Westwoodside and Haxey.

Communities will receive at least £100,000 for each well where fracking takes place to explore for gas, and one per cent of revenues if it proves to be commercially viable.

Mr Percy told the Bells; “It has been used to good effect in the United States in proving jobs and bringing energy prices down.

“But any future development locally will have to be looked at on its own merit and the potential impact it may have on that community must be considered.”

But Tony Bosworth, of Friends of the Earth believes shale gas ‘is not the solution to the UK’s energy challenges.’

He added: “Extracting shale gas will have a significant effect on communities and our environment – the more that’s extracted, the bigger those impacts will be.

“The north could be at the heart of Britain’s green energy and economic transformation, but not by turning it into another ‘gaslands’.

“We need a 21st century energy revolution based on efficiency and renewables, not more fossil fuels that will add to climate change.”

Energy minister Michael Fallon said it would be ‘irresponsible’ not to encourage the exploration of shale gas while the BGS added the fuel had potential but needed engineering expertise and investment to protect the environment.