SITES in Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and Bradford on Avon could be used for fracking in the near future, according to the Government.

Up to 27 locations throughout the country were granted a licence for fracking by the Oil and Gas Authority in an announcement made by David Cameron earlier this week, with further locations chosen for assessment.

The controversial process, which involves drilling into the earth to release shale gas, would be the first placed within Wiltshire if potential sites are put forward and granted the appropriate licences.

Dr Becky Martin, from Keep Wiltshire Frack Free, said: “Where fracking has happened in the USA it has caused great damage to the countryside and people’s health.

“Google ‘the list of the harmed’ and you can see the devastating effects of the air and water contamination this industry causes.

“A quick look on Google earth at Dimmock, Pennsylvania, will show you the scars it leaves on the landscape.

“It’s not just one or two wells, this industry requires hundreds and thousands of wells to make a profit, all requiring hundreds of lorries each carrying chemicals and ridiculous amounts of waste water contaminated with carcinogens and radioactive substance.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Wiltshire Council is studying the consultation with interest in order to understand what this means for the county. We have not been made aware of any licencing applications made in Wiltshire.”