Balcombe residents’ group vows to fight on after Cuadrilla wins planning permission

I watched this council meeting live and was mortified by the outcome.


29th April 2014

The Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Association is considering a legal challenge to the decision by West Sussex County Council’s planning committee to grant permission to Cuadrilla to test the viability of its exploratory oil well.

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One thought on “Balcombe residents’ group vows to fight on after Cuadrilla wins planning permission

  1. UK shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla has been given the green light to test oil extraction in Balcombe, the West Sussex village that saw major anti-fracking protests last summer.

    At a planning committee meeting that had to be adjourned at one point due to people disrupting it, West Sussex county council approved the company’s application to undertake tests to see how fast oil would flow at a site on the outskirts of the village.

    The committee’s decision on Tuesday was reportedly announced to cries of “shame on you” by some residents.

    Cuadrilla submitted a planning application in January for an oil flow test at the well it drilled last year.

    The company has said it will not conduct fracking, the controversial process of injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure underground to release shale gas, at the Balcombe site. “Cuadrilla will not be carrying out hydraulic fracturing at the Lower Stumble site now or in the future,” it said in a recent statement.

    Brenda Pollack, Friends of the Earth’s south east campaigner, told the Evening Argus: “We are extremely disappointed that councillors have not listened to local people. This is an attempt by Cuadrilla to set the wheels in motion for dirty fossil fuel extraction. We need the council and our government to push forward with clean energy solutions.

    Keith Taylor, the Green party MEP for south-east England, said he was disappointed by the decision. “Residents had raised very serious concerns about air and water pollution, noise and traffic, as well as the impacts on the countryside and the community. I fear that today’s decision will open the door to the dangerous dinosaur fossil fuel industry across south east England.”

    Charles Metcalfe, spokeswoman for Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association, said: “For the Weald [which runs across Sussex], this Balcombe planning application is a thin end of the wedge. This will be an emblematic planning decision that may determine whether a whole lot of other oil and gas companies pile in afterwards – or think twice. It’s a decision that will affect communities right across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire, and of course beyond. We shall fight.”


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