CAMPAIGNERS from the Friends of the Earth are giving their support to a group fighting proposals for fracking in the South Downs National Park.
Brenda Pollack from Friends of the Earth visited both Fernhurst and Wisborough Green recently on the day that the Government announced the areas it intends to offer for onshore oil and gas licensing, and the potential impacts of this.
Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “These plans cast a dark shadow over many communities across Britain who could now face the threat of fracking in their backyard.
“The Government admits shale gas and coal bed methane development could have significant impacts on local people and the environment, while experts say they won’t bring down energy bills.
On visiting the proposed site in Fernhurst, Brenda Pollack from Friends of the Earth said: “The government seems to be bending over backwards to open the door for unconventional drilling.
“Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has caused real and serious problems in other countries. We are not scaremongering. More evidence is coming out all the time around the world about the negative impacts.
“Residents in the area do not trust the regulatory system in this country, especially given the announcement of huge cuts at the Environment Agency recently.
“It is a disgrace to offer sweeteners to local communities to accept drilling for dirty fossil fuels.”
Marcus Adams from Frack Free Fernhurst said: “We are delighted to have the support of Friends of the Earth and are disappointed with this announcement today about the government’s continued plans to put profits above the welfare of local communities.
“We continue to fight this development in the South Downs National Park and remain convinced that this is the wrong place for (to quote our local MP Andrew Tyrie) ‘a largescale industrial experiment’.
“This is a very important application – a test case. If permission is granted here in the National Park then nowhere will be safe.”