LIBERAL Democrats in Gloucestershire are calling for the new Minerals Local Plan to include a comprehensible policy on fracking.

Gloucestershire County Council's Environment & Communities Scrutiny Committee met at Shire Hall on Wednesday to consider the Minerals Local Plan and Draft Policy Framework for public consultation.

The new Minerals Local Plan (MLP) anticipated to be adopted in 2016 will provide the framework against which planning and other minerals-related decisions will be made including the extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons via methods such as fracking.

Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, (Bourton and Northleach) who is on the committee, said: “Currently, the consultation document gives only vague mentions to the possible presence of both conventional oil and gas and unconventional hydrocarbons (via methods such as fracking for shale gas) in the county.

“It would be good to see the council’s mineral local plan to be a lot clearer when it comes to those methods of extraction such as fracking.

“It is important that anyone considering applying for a fracking licence knows the county’s view on this highly controversial issue.

“The council needs to be proactive in putting forward a robust and clear policy before anyone applies for a licence rather than waiting for the inevitable to happen.

“We will be keeping a close eye throughout the process of adopting this new plan.”