COUNTY NEWS: Sussex Green MEP calls on council to reject plans to test Sussex oil well
Sussex Green MEP Keith Taylor is calling on West Sussex councillors to heed the overwhelming calls from their constituents and reject plans to test an oil well.
Councillors are meeting tomorrow at the County Hall in Chichester to discuss Cuadrilla’s plans to test the flow of oil at its well in Balcombe.
Planners have recommended councillors support the plans despite receiving thousands of objections to the proposals from residents and groups including, Ardingly and Worth Parish Councils, Friends of the Earth, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Association and Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Balcombe Parish Council has also submitted the result of a ballot from 2013 in which a majority of participants registered their opposition to applications like this in the village.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, said: “The people of Balcombe and voters across West Sussex have registered their opposition to these climate and environmentally-destructive plans time and time again.
“It’s time for councillors to put their constituents, and the planet, ahead of Cuadrilla’s commercial interests and reject these plans out of hand.
“The people of Balcombe have rebuffed Cuadrilla’s advances before and I will continue standing alongside them as they fight to protect their homes and communities once again.
“The government-backed unconventional oil and gas rush across the UK will not only despoil this Outstanding Area of Natural Beauty but will ensure the UK fails to meet its legally-binding climate change targets under the Climate Change Act and Paris Agreement.
“The scientific consensus on the climate breakdown has never been greater. The best chance we have of averting climate catastrophe is by keeping fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
“Instead of facilitating, and in many cases investing in the dirty oil and gas industry, councillors should make it their New Year’s resolution to take note of the overwhelming public opposition to oil and gas drilling in the region and refuse permission for any new drilling.
“It’s time to build a clean energy future – for West Sussex and across the UK.”