FRACKING in Wiltshire is one step nearer after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request put in by Keep Wiltshire Frack Free (KWFF) revealed that licences have been sent out to companies who have plans to carry out the controversial process.

One of the recipients of the licence is Gerwyn Williams, CEO of South Western Energy, who wants to frack for gas and oil in Wiltshire.

In the ‘western block’ of Wiltshire licence areas, which includes the area from Melksham in the north to Frome in the south, including part of Westbury and Trowbridge, South Western Energy is committing to drill at least one well as part of the contract.

In the ‘eastern block’ of the Wiltshire licence areas, which includes Devizes down to south of Warminster, the company is offering a "drill or drop" procedure, which means that if their initial geological survey shows no promise they will drop the licence – otherwise they will drill.

Member of KWIFF, Bill Jarvis, said: “It’s just another step towards fracking in the county.

“We know that these things are going to happen as the Government is hell-bent on doing it, so they will approve it if they can.

“We just have to be ready to make sure we maximise the resistance and we need the help of Wiltshire people to be able to do that.

“I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with the Government’s attitude towards it, and I know I’m not the only one.”

KWIFF are now waiting to see if the licence is signed by Mr Williams – which would mean that his company could start mapping the land before carrying out a test drill.