FRACKING has been banned on all Bury Council land.

Councillors have refused to allow the controversial method of shale gas extraction on the 15 per cent of land in the borough belonging to the council.

A town hall motion last week “acknowledges the growing public concern” that fracking entails “significant risks to the environment and to health”.

The Labour motion agreed: “These include, but are not limited to, earth tremors, potential air pollution, pollution of water resources and increased industrialisation of the countryside.”

Cllr Rishi Shori, leader of the council, said: “We don’t want our children growing up in an environment tainted by the by-products of fracking. We don’t want short-term thinking, driven by the need to make a quick profit with the use of fossil fuel, to override the common sense approach of investing in clean and green sources of renewable energy. We don’t want our residents to suffer financially or otherwise by living near a fracking site. We don’t want our already overburdened roads choked with heavy goods vehicles.”

He stated that the motion seeks to involve and consult with communities about fracking applications on private land if they try to ‘bridge the obvious and yawning democratic deficit that exists within the current system’.

The motion promises there will be a ‘rigorous criteria for assessing planning applications for the exploration or extraction of gas’ while also supporting power generated from wind sources. Anti-fracking protestors gathered at the town hall ahead of the motion being passed.

A spokesman for Bury Green Party said: “We acknowledge the legal difficulties members of the planning committee will face should any planning application be submitted by fracking developers.

“We welcome the council’s commitment to use its statutory powers to harness all local sources of renewable energy and its aims to work towards becoming fossil-free by 2025. We also welcome the council’s initiative to call on the new secretary of state for energy and climate change to comply with the terms of the Paris Agreement of 2015 on climate change.

“However, while recognising that Bury Council under Labour control may genuinely have had a change of heart under its new leadership regarding fracking, the protection of our natural environment, energy conservation for housing and renewable sources of energy, and given its past record,... we remain deeply sceptical as to its willingness and ability to deliver on all these ambitious green pledges.”