Balcombe anti-fracking campaigners have lost a High Court bid to block further exploration for oil and gas exploration in their West Sussex village. A residents’ group from Balcombe claimed the planning permission granted to energy company Cuadrilla to carry out testing was unlawful.
Permission for the site at Lower Stumble was granted in May this year. At a two-day hearing in London last month the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association (FFBRA) argued the decision to grant planning permission was flawed by “errors of law”.
Balcombe is a village and civil parish in the Mid Sussex district of West Sussex, England.
In this short video, Balcombe Resident Charles Metcalfe talks about his experiences of fracking.
The risk that drinking water in Sussex could be contaminated by fracking chemicals was known by the Government more than a year ago, previously secret documents reveal. Ministers were privately briefed by the Environment Agency (EA) that fracking near aquifers – underground rocks which contain water – should not be permitted.
In a private memo, revealed by Greenpeace through Freedom of Information requests to Number Ten, a senior EA official writes: “The Environment Agency would not allow hydraulic fracking to take place in an area where there are aquifers used to supply drinking water. If there were sensitive ground waters present in an area where a company wanted to carry out hydraulic fracturing, we would object during the company’s planning application and refuse to grant an environmental permit.”
However, this guidance was not released to the public and the EA’s head of climate change later changed the wording on a public statement related to the issue so as not to create “too stark a message” about shale gas drilling.
Read the full article from the Argus here.
This underlines two things: 1) the government knows that there is a clear and present danger that fracking would contaminate our water supply, and 2) government agencies are doing all they can to cover up this information and mislead the public.
This page on the Friends of the Earth website explains how West Sussex County Council were persuaded to turn down an application for exploratory shale drilling.
One of the tactics used by local people was a video showing how unsuitable their roads were for large lorries. You can view the video and a powerpoint presentation given at the council meeting here:
And you can read the Friends of the Earth blog about it here.
The first, but not the last!
The application for “exploratory” fracking at Wisborough Green in Sussex has been unanimously rejected (on the grounds of excess lorry movements).
You can read more about it here. (Source: Independent)
Local highway officials say that fracking company Celtique Energie presented data that hugely underplayed the number of heavy lorries needed for its planned drilling operations in Sussex.
Other experts for the South Downs national park, in which Celtique plans to drill, said the company’s claims about noise were “opaque” and understated the increase in noise levels.