RODBOROUGH Parish Council has come out against fracking in Gloucestershire.

The decision comes after Stroud Town Council also took steps to oppose any move towards unconventional gas extraction in the county last week.

The stance was verified in the Parish Council’s response to the consultation on Gloucestershire County Council’s Draft Minerals Local Plan.

The Conservative-led county council’s draft includes a policy supporting fracking.

But Rodborough Parish Council has said it strongly disagrees with this policy, and described fracking as an immature technology that can have a devastating impact on the environment and local communities.

Councillor Kiera Jones said, “The burning of fossils fuels and subsequent release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is causing climate change, the effects of which may be catastrophic.

“The council recognises that following the Paris Accords of 2016 we have an obligation to minimise our impact as much as possible, and therefore cannot support the extraction of yet more fossil fuels using ever more complicated and energy-intensive means.”

Cllr Jones said much of Gloucestershire’s countryside would be irretrievably scarred and biodiversity could be permanently diminished if fracking is permitted.

She added that much of the county does not have the transport infrastructure to support the heavy machinery and frequent lorry movements that fracking would require.

Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is a method of extracting gas and oil from the ground by forcing water and harmful chemicals into rock formations deep underground, resulting in fracturing of the rock.

This process releases gas and oil, which are then recovered from the resulting water mixture.

People have until November 24 to register their views on fracking within the Draft Minerals Plan.

The draft documents can be found on Fracking licences were allocated in Gloucestershire last December, primarily in the Forest of Dean for coal bed methane.

However the company which was granted these licenses decided not to carry out any fracking.

South Western Energy said it had decided not to pursue licences which were awarded to explore for gas.

A spokesman said it was because energy costs were currently low and future prices were uncertain.

As these licences have not been used, no fracking will be able to take place in Gloucestershire until at least 2018 – when they are renewed.