Energy firm still working with council

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DART Energy this week said it ‘continued to work’ with local communities and Falkirk Council to progress a controversial planning application.

This was despite no decision schedule, four months after the conclusion of the statutory process.

Bo’ness and Blackness Community Councils are among opponents to Dart’s plans for 14 wells near Airth to extract coal bed methane (CBM).

The firm currently has a three month right of appeal to a Scottish Government directorate, which could appoint a reporter, taking a decision out of councillors’ hands.

It follows Dart and Falkirk Council’s failure to agree a new extension to the application timescale, beyond May 7.

Dart says its plans are consistent with CBM operations in the area since the mid-90s, but among 700-plus comments are environmental, health and safety concerns.

Despite assurances of no hydraulic fracturing, opponents fear its introduction.

Frack Off Scotland’s Ed Pybus had claimed Dart was now ‘seeking to avoid’ local councillors to ‘force this unwelcome development’ on locals.

Falkirk planners are ‘striving’ towards a public hearing. Comments can still be made.