Greenpeace has launched a legal challenge to fracking in England to halt what it calls “reckless and presumptuous” plans for shale gas extraction across the country.
It made the announcement at a joint press conference with people whose homes are in the firing line of potential fracking sites, including residents from Balcombe in Sussex.
Greenpeace expects thousands of people to join the legal block, creating a patchwork of no-go areas for the fracking industry across the country.
The cost of policing the anti fracking protests in Balcombe is more than £4m and ,despite some help from the government, much of the bill will fall to Sussex Police.
Today the energy minister announced there are potentially 40 more drilling sites to explore for shale gas nationwide. So how much more will police forces have to fork out? John Ryall reports.
The energy company Cuadrilla, has been granted a permit to manage wastes, which may contain naturally occurring radioactive substances. It follows the completion of exploratory drilling for oil and gas reserves at Balcombe.
The Environment Agency say they made the decision after a six-week consultation with local residents.
We would like to thank all those people who responded to this consultation. If the well testing goes ahead we will monitor Cuadrilla’s operations and work with other regulators to ensure that the activity does not cause harm to people and the environment.”
More drilling could take place outside a Sussex village which has been the focus of anti-fracking protests. Energy firm Cuadrilla has submitted plans to carry out "flow tests" at the Balcombe site after test drilling found hydrocarbons in rock samples.
A Cuadrilla spokesman said the new application did not include a request to carry out fracking. The firm had drilled a 3,000ft vertical well and a 2,500ft horizontal bore, but the well had been closed off while it sought fresh planning permission.
A West Sussex County Council spokesman confirmed the application was submitted on Wednesday and that it would take 10 days for it to be published and appear on the authority's website. He said there would then be a formal consultation.
Police said they are winding up their operation overseeing anti-fracking protests in Balcombe as the cost is expected to hit £4 million.Read the full story ›
Police said they are winding up their operation overseeing anti-fracking protests in West Sussex as the final cost to taxpayers is expected to hit around £4 million.
Energy company Cuadrilla has been spending the week clearing the site at Balcombe after completing its exploratory oil drilling earlier this month.
Although no hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been taking place, the village has been thrust to the forefront of anti-fracking protests over the past two months.
Protesters have vowed to remain at the controversial drilling test site at Balcombe in Sussex until the area is cleared. Energy firm Cuadrilla is withdrawing from the site where it had been carrying out exploratory drilling.
Anti-fracking campaigners say they will eventually stand-down but will come back if the company returns for further tests. Sarah Saunders speaks to Balcombe protesters and Ewa Jasiewicz from from No Dash For Gas.
The well is now closed off for the coming months as Cuadrilla applies for planning permission to come back and test flow rates. We appreciate that the Balcombe community has had to bear the strain of protest, as have our on-site and support team and contractors.
We commend West Sussex County Council and police for both facilitating peaceful protest and preserving order.”
The well was a success and we are very encouraged by the findings so far.”