FRACKING protestors have vowed to “stand up and fight for Bolton” amid fears that a site between Westhoughton and Atherton could be targeted by energy firms.

Bolton Against Fracking (BAF) is promising to pressurise the council to oppose any fracking plans it receives.

Meanwhile Bolton Trade Union Council (TUC) has passed two motions this week on fracking issues.

The TUC agreed to support the campaign opposing fracking and called for an investigation into policing at recent protests at Barton Moss in Salford.

Members of BAF have heard that a plot of land off Schofield Lane and Colliery Lane — which was previously used for mining — has been earmarked for fracking.

The land straddles the border between the Wigan and Bolton boroughs, but both councils maintain that they are yet to receive any fracking applications.

Anna Cook, from Bolton Against Fracking, said: “We’ve seen nothing official yet but it would seem that the site would be prime for shale gas drilling.

“If an application does come in for this site, or any other in Bolton, we will oppose them strongly.

“We want the persuade the council to join us early and get on side — we don’t want a Barton Moss to develop here.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an inquiry into policing at Barton Moss, where anti-fracking protestors have set up a camp to oppose plans for fracking on the site.

Dr Stephen Peers is planning to sue Greater Manchester Police after he was arrested for refusing a breath test while filming the demonstrations.

His court case fell through when prosecutors provided no evidence.

Stephen Hall, a member of Bolton TUC and president of the Greater Manchester Association of TUCs, said: “The focus should be on sourcing renewable energy — fracking will only provide a solution for the next 30 or 40 years.

“As far as I’m concerned, if they want to fight they may as well bring it to my doorstep.“ Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris has refused to state an opinion on the potential for fracking in Bolton in the past, saying that each application will be considered on merit.

It comes as Bolton geophysicist, has warned it is “only a matter of time” before fracking licences are submitted to Bolton Council.

Ainslie Casson, a Westhoughton scientist now working for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, has warned Bolton — with its rich history of mining — is a likely target for energy companies looking to cash in on untapped gas supplies.