Anti-fracking protesters have gathered in Chester ahead of a planning meeting which will determine whether a controversial application gets the go-ahead. 

Members of the Free Frack Dee Coalition began a peaceful protest at the Town Hall at 3pm.

They are opposed to an application from energy firm IGas to ‘flow test’ a well in Ellesmere Port, to find out more about shale gas reserves in the area. 

The application itself makes no mention of the controversial practice of fracking – which involves fracturing underground rocks to release gas – but protesters say the test could pave the way for it to happen in Ellesmere Port further down the line. 

The Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee meet at 4pm to discuss the application.

Protesters, who have invited anyone who supports their cause to join them, are marching from the Town Hall to the HQ building, where the meeting takes place. 

They say fracking is bad for the environment and are opposing all attempts to frack for shale gas in North Cheshire, including a separate application by IGas to carry out the process on Ince Marshes.