COUNTY NEWS: Group reacts to news of fracking firm’s return to Sussex

South East campaign group Friends of the Earth has reacted to the news of a fracking firm’s return to Sussex to test oil flow.

Councillors unanimously approved in favour of the plan at County Hall in Chichester yesterday (January 9). Read our original story here.

South East campaigner Brenda Pollack

South East campaigner Brenda Pollack

Cuadrilla has been given two years’ permission to flow test and monitor a exploration well in Balcombe.

It will be the second time the firm will test the oil flow at the Lower Stumble site. They were given permission in May 2014, but this expired.

The company came in to drill the site in 2013, which sparked an anti-fracking protest.

Cuadrilla do not have permission for fracking at the site.

Whether it’s fracking or not, dirty fossil fuels must be left in the ground.

Brenda Pollack, South East campaigner for Friends of the Earth

Matt Lambert, director of Government and Public Affairs at Cuadrilla, told the meeting yesterday that it was not needed due to the site ‘already being fractured’.

Brenda Pollack, South East campaigner, who attended the planning meeting yesterday, said: “This is devastating news for villagers and everyone who wants a clean and safe environment to live in.

“Where is the democracy when over 2,700 people objected to Cuadrilla returning to this beautiful rural part of Sussex?

“Whether it’s fracking or not, dirty fossil fuels must be left in the ground.

“Allowing companies to drill underground for ever more difficult to extract oil and gas reserves is crazy when it won’t help keep polluting emissions down.

“We need to see a much bigger push for a cleaner future without an over-reliance on oil.

“Cleaner transport measures and reducing car and lorry movements is the way forward.

“The residents who came today showed what local people feel about this.

“Cuadrilla and companies like it are not welcome here. It seems like the government’s support for dirty oil and gas is forcing these projects through.”