Cuadrilla set to return to centre of fracking protests

The energy firm Cuadrilla is set to return to the West Sussex village which was at the centre of high-profile anti-fracking protests last summer.

West Sussex County Council granted the firm six months permission to carry out oil and gas exploration in an existing hydro-carbon borehole near Balcombe.

The Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex pictured last year. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

About 900 people objected to Cuadrilla returning to flow test at the Lower Stumble exploration site, which drew thousands of protesters opposed to fracking last year.

More than 100 people attended the planning meeting in Horsham, but environmental campaigners fearful the testing could lead on to fracking were left dismayed at the decision to approve.