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Estate agency group challenged over links with fracking firm

A campaign organisation is asking estate agency group Fisher German how professional assistance it is giving to fracking development can be reconciled with obtaining the best prices for house sellers and with the firm’s corporate responsibility objectives.

The rural consultancy of Fisher German says on its website that “it’s very likely farmers’ and landowners throughout the country will be approached by exploratory companies who want to test for shale gas.” It then gives contact details of a consultant at the firm with experience of handling similar issues.

Elsewhere on the site the company has a traditional property search facility for homes it is marketing on behalf of residential vendors.

Now a representative of the organisation Frack Free Nottinghamshire has written querying why the agency is reportedly offering professional assistance to the chemicals and energy company Ineos in activities related to fracking, which the controversial drilling process may be considered as damaging to the sale prices achieved by nearby properties. 

The letter cites the results of a survey - published on Estate Agent Today - suggesting that vendors and prospective buyers in areas where fracking may take place are concerned about property values. In the survey, over 64 per cent of those questioned in a survey admitted they would be reluctant to buy a home near a fracking site - with 43 per cent saying they were “very unlikely” to do so."

The letter also cites a Daily Telegraph report of a survey of agents which suggested many thought house prices would suffer as a result of being in close proximity of a fracking site.

The letter also asks Fisher German to reconcile its activities with its corporate social responsibility objective, cited on its website: "Corporate social responsibility is fundamental in the way we do business. We are constantly aware of the needs of our employees, marketplace, community and the environment."

The campaign group alleges that not only would house prices be hit by fracking in a nearby location, but commercial businesses may also be adversely affected. 

“Land uses like farming, tourism and leisure are all severely compromised by a dramatic change in visual appearances, gas field haze, heavy traffic, spills, noise and light pollution. Are these not also your customers? Is it compatible with corporate social responsibility to help initiate a process that could undermine important parts of the local economy?” asks the group.

Estate Agent Today has asked Fisher German for its comments.

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