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Your MP writes: Siobhan Baillie on Tricorn House saga, and tackling the fracking issue

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The long-running saga of Tricorn House has taken a new turn as I have been told the building has been sold.

The previous owner, John Wellfair, told me during a phone call last week he sold it last month. As yet, I do not know who the new owners are but as soon as I do, I will be contacting them to see what they are planning for the building.

I said previously I would happily push the button to demolish the eyesore in a heartbeat as I am sure many in Stroud would like to do too. It is ugly, derelict and dangerous. Following the tragic death of a much-loved boy there last year, it also holds devastating memories for local people.

On a practical level, the council needs contact with the new owners about security and maintenance for the building to prevent further tragic incidents.

I would preferably want it torn down but if major redevelopment can happen swiftly, I think that will be accepted. I will feed back to you what I find out in a future column for Stroud Times.

New owners certainly give us hope we might see progress but we have been here before. I will want to see some cast iron evidence that action is going to be taken as soon as possible before I stop being a chief pest on this issue.

Fracking has come back into the news of late as the Government looks at options to improve our energy security following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There is much to commend what the new PM wants to do. I strongly support ministers’ ambitions to accelerate processes for renewable investment, for example as things take far too long to complete in this country.

However, I am not really sure why the government has picked this fight as it has also stated it will take place “only where there is local consent”.  I have not come across a community that will give consent. 

I am working with fellow Conservative MPs to express opposition and ask ministers about the science surrounding fracking, together with whether that has changed since the government’s moratorium on it in England.

We have pointed out that there are many ways to boost domestic energy security using nuclear, solar, marine energy, floating offshore solar and onshore wind. Some technologies, especially offshore wind, have tumbled in price over the last few years and most of these options look better value than imported gas.

My position is that the fracking question should be not re-opened without credible independent analysis supporting a change in safety, and provide a simple measurable definition of local support.

I do not believe there is any local support for fracking in the Stroud district. I will always consider the evidence and local views but as it stands, I would oppose any drilling within the constituency.

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