FRACKING tests may be carried out in Glazebury, Astley and up towards Boothstown, it has been confirmed.

A private company has written to Wigan Council to inform them of its intention to carry out ‘three dimensional seismic survey’ work within the borough.

The controversial fracking tests are taking place across the country, with large scale protests ongoing at the Barton Moss site, close the M62 in Manchester.

Steve Normington, director of economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “We’ve been formally notified by a private company that they intend to do survey work to map the geological structure of an area that includes a small part of the borough.

“The work, which also covers parts of Warrington, Salford and Trafford, is likely to occur in the autumn but as yet no firm date has been set. The survey work is known as a seismic investigation and will involve some holes been drilled to a maximum depth of six metres. This is not the kind of high-level drilling tests seen in other areas.

“Companies do not need to seek the council’s permission for this type of work so we have no control over where this happens and cannot prevent it from taking place but they do need to notify the council of their intentions.”

The council is thought to have received a similar letter to one sent to Warrington Borough Council last week that named Glazebury as another area where tests may start in the autumn and last for around six weeks.

The letter was sent to Warrington Council bosses by TESLA, which is carrying out the work on behalf of IGas.

But IGas says it does not intend to get seismic data from the area, putting it at odds with the letter sent to the council from TESLA.

An IGas spokesman added: “IGas commissioned TESLA to carry out a feasibility study. As part of that process TESLA would have informed local stakeholders of its work. However, at this stage it is not our intention to acquire seismic data in the area.”

The letter says the survey is part of a wider plan to map the geological structure of the region. Holes will be drilled six metres deep at 50 metre gaps.