AN eco-energy revolution could bring huge benefits to the residents and businesses of an East Lancashire borough a Green councillor has claimed.

The leader of the party's group on Burnley Council Cllr Scott Cunliffe told its full meeting that exploiting geo-thermal, hydro and other renewable power sources must be included in the authority's local plan.

He said the borough was perfectly situated to exploit an eco-energy bonanza to cut local bills.

Its economy and growth boss Cllr Mark Townsend that the issue was on his radar and he was ready to look closely at research into all renewable energy sources.

Cllr Cunliffe told Wednesday's meeting: "Burnley has the potential to produce more green energy than it actually needs.

"With rising energy costs, the residents and businesses of Burnley could reap a huge energy dividend if we have the right vision and plan.

"Our local plan goes into some detail about the potential for wind energy in the borough which already benefits residents in part of my ward, Cliviger and Worsthorne, through the Scottish Power windfarm and the recently approved solar farm at Coal Clough on the Long Causeway.

"The potential for geo-thermal energy, solar and other renewables in Burnley is undeniable. It's not quite in the plan unfortunately.

"In collaboration with the Coal Board and local businesses geo-thermal power can be extracted from the many coal seems under our feet..

"Our vision is to harness the above into a coherent energy plan for our borough.

"As things stand there are provisions for wind energy in the Burnley Local Plan, but no provision for geo-thermal, hydro and solar farm allocations.

"This sets challenges and even leaves the door open for energy companies to take energy from our town without giving anything back to the people of the borough.

"Are you willing to collaborate on seeing our vision come into fruition? "

Cllr Townsend said: " This is an extremely important topic not just for this borough but for the world.

"We all need to collaborate. He's absolutely right in terms of solar, geo-thermal and other aspects.

"There is lots of research being undertaken to see what's possible and whether it's scalable.

"All I can say at this stage is that it's on my radar.

"If we need to amend our plans this council will consider doing it because that's what we need to do - be adaptable.

"Do I remain open to consulting and taking the best advice possible and the best ideas from anywhere?

"Absolutely. My door is open."