The ArgusResidents of Fernhurst launch blockade to stop fracking bid (From The Argus)

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Residents of Fernhurst launch blockade to stop fracking bid

The Argus: Last year saw anti-fracking protesters gather in Balcombe Last year saw anti-fracking protesters gather in Balcombe

A group of landowners in a national park are denying permission for a company to drill under their properties, in the latest moves to oppose controversial "fracking".

Residents near the village of Fernhurst in the South Downs National Park, are launching a "legal blockade" against drilling under their land.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the group have written to oil and gas company Celtique Energie and Energy Secretary Ed Davey to say they explicitly deny permission for the firm to drill horizontally under their properties from a proposed well on land leased from a local landowner.


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Campaigners say the move could be replicated across the country by communities opposing fracking.

It comes as the Government considers changing trespass laws to make it easier for companies to drill under people's homes.

Celtique Energie has put in a planning application near Fernhurst to drill a temporary vertical well to test for oil and gas and potentially drill a horizontal well extending out from it.

It comes after energy company Cuadrilla faced protests over its attempts to drill a test well last summer in Balcombe.

Celtique Energie is not applying for permission for "fracking" - a process in which liquid is pumped at high pressure deep underground to fracture shale rock and release gas - which would require a separate planning application.

However, campaigners say that if the company did find gas they would not be able to run a full-scale fracking well as they would not have permission from the surrounding landowners to drill outwards horizontally to access the shale.

Marcus Adams, one of the landowners involved in the blockade, said: "People right across the country have legitimate concerns about the impact of fracking on their communities - from water contamination to air and noise pollution from heavy lorry traffic - but all this happening in a national park just doesn't bear thinking about."

He said there was a presumption that hydrocarbons existed in large parts of the country and that there must be better sites for exploiting shale gas, rather than sensitive areas such as the countryside around Fernhurst.

"I'm really concerned that if they were successful here, nowhere in the country would be safe."

Mr Adams, a long-time Conservative voter, added: "Trespass law gives residents a chance to stand up to powerful corporations wanting to drill under their homes, but now the Government wants to take this protection away from them.

"Many Tory voters here will be baffled by a government ready to bend the rule of law and chip away at homeowners' rights to make way for the industrialisation of our beautiful countryside."

Environmental group Greenpeace launched a mass legal block against fracking in October, which now has the backing of around 25,000 people across the UK.

Last week a study from the University of Nottingham found that support for fracking continued to decline despite promises that communities would receive financial benefits from shale gas exploration in their area.

Greenpeace energy campaigner Anna Jones said: "As ministers' desperate charm offensive is given the cold shoulder, the Fernhurst legal blockade is likely to become a blueprint for local resistance right across the country.

"Having failed to allay people's fears about the impact of fracking, the government is now ready to stack the deck against them in the looming legal battle over shale drilling.

"With one hand ministers are bribing councils to soften opposition; with the other they're stripping away long established legal protections from homeowners. This is a very perilous path to take with the next general election just months away."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "Like any other industrial activity, oil and gas operations require access permission from landowners.

"But there is an existing legal route by which operators can apply for access where this can't be negotiated. We're currently considering whether this existing route is fit for purpose."

A spokesman for Celtique Energie said: "The horizontal well proposed as part of Celtique Energie's planning application for a temporary exploration well west of Fernhurst will be a maximum distance of 853ft from the vertical borehole at a direction of 230 degrees, in a south westerly direction.

"Therefore the horizontal well would be located exclusively within the ownership of the land owners with whom Celtique has entered into a leasing agreement for its proposed exploration well.

"Furthermore the horizontal well is only an option at this stage and would be drilled on the basis of positive data from the vertical well."

Comments (11)

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9:13am Mon 3 Feb 14

Take it Personally says...

vile vile vile
vile vile vile Take it Personally
  • Score: -2

10:10am Mon 3 Feb 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Hopefully this man will now realise just how wrong and bad the Conservatives are and won't ever vote for them again. Also include the Lib dems who have shown what liars they are by going into power with the devil himself in order to get a little power.
Hopefully this man will now realise just how wrong and bad the Conservatives are and won't ever vote for them again. Also include the Lib dems who have shown what liars they are by going into power with the devil himself in order to get a little power. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 2

10:14am Mon 3 Feb 14

s&k says...

"t comes as the Government considers changing trespass laws to make it easier for companies to drill under people's homes."
They'll do anything to get their own way. The Tories are the enemy within.
"t comes as the Government considers changing trespass laws to make it easier for companies to drill under people's homes." They'll do anything to get their own way. The Tories are the enemy within. s&k
  • Score: 7

10:19am Mon 3 Feb 14

russellsnr2 says...

Hi, Welcome to Mr Cameron's TORY party.
"Many Tory voters here will be baffled by a government ready to bend the rule of law and chip away at home owners' rights to make way for the industrialisation of our beautiful countryside."
Sorry but this statement just shows how naive people are to believe what Mr 'C' tells you, if you voted Tory it is your own fault, you thought money would talk and you where right as long as your name is Cameron, he and his cronies only want one thing from you and the rest of us 'As much money as he possibly can' it's in the Tory blood!!!
Hi, Welcome to Mr Cameron's TORY party. "Many Tory voters here will be baffled by a government ready to bend the rule of law and chip away at home owners' rights to make way for the industrialisation of our beautiful countryside." Sorry but this statement just shows how naive people are to believe what Mr 'C' tells you, if you voted Tory it is your own fault, you thought money would talk and you where right as long as your name is Cameron, he and his cronies only want one thing from you and the rest of us 'As much money as he possibly can' it's in the Tory blood!!! russellsnr2
  • Score: 1

10:34am Mon 3 Feb 14

Buckers10 says...

You can join in the legal block by entering your details here:

http://wrongmove.org
/

And register your opposal to fracking on/under your land.
You can join in the legal block by entering your details here: http://wrongmove.org / And register your opposal to fracking on/under your land. Buckers10
  • Score: 0

10:41am Mon 3 Feb 14

All 9 of me says...

George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK.

I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .
George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK. I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs . All 9 of me
  • Score: 15

12:06pm Mon 3 Feb 14

s&k says...

All 9 of me wrote:
George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK. I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .
Brilliant.
[quote][p][bold]All 9 of me[/bold] wrote: George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK. I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .[/p][/quote]Brilliant. s&k
  • Score: 4

12:48pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Plantpot says...

All 9 of me wrote:
George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK.

I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .
In a survey held recently, 70% of Labour voters said they would increase the top rate of tax for the highest earners even if no additional tax were actually collected. I assume this post is straight out of that mould.

Sam Cam's dad makes £350k/year from a wind farm on his property, I assume you'll rethink wind now?

Ref ownership and the likelhood of any legal action succeeding, see the link below for more info, as oil and gas have special conditions attached to them:

https://www.bgs.ac.u
k/mineralsuk/plannin
g/legislation/minera
lOwnership.html

Unfortunately, even the climate is all about politics now.....

Where does Gove come into it? Have you opened the curtains yet today?
[quote][p][bold]All 9 of me[/bold] wrote: George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK. I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .[/p][/quote]In a survey held recently, 70% of Labour voters said they would increase the top rate of tax for the highest earners even if no additional tax were actually collected. I assume this post is straight out of that mould. Sam Cam's dad makes £350k/year from a wind farm on his property, I assume you'll rethink wind now? Ref ownership and the likelhood of any legal action succeeding, see the link below for more info, as oil and gas have special conditions attached to them: https://www.bgs.ac.u k/mineralsuk/plannin g/legislation/minera lOwnership.html Unfortunately, even the climate is all about politics now..... Where does Gove come into it? Have you opened the curtains yet today? Plantpot
  • Score: -4

5:48pm Mon 3 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

Plantpot wrote:
All 9 of me wrote:
George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK.

I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .
In a survey held recently, 70% of Labour voters said they would increase the top rate of tax for the highest earners even if no additional tax were actually collected. I assume this post is straight out of that mould.

Sam Cam's dad makes £350k/year from a wind farm on his property, I assume you'll rethink wind now?

Ref ownership and the likelhood of any legal action succeeding, see the link below for more info, as oil and gas have special conditions attached to them:

https://www.bgs.ac.u

k/mineralsuk/plannin

g/legislation/minera

lOwnership.html

Unfortunately, even the climate is all about politics now.....

Where does Gove come into it? Have you opened the curtains yet today?
No, Sam Cam's dad should be taxed at the higher rate. The fact that there may be perverse incentives for the rich, always the biggest welfare beneficiaries, does not mean we should develop yet more gas reserves that we cannot use if we are to avoid devastating levels of greenhouse gases.
[quote][p][bold]Plantpot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]All 9 of me[/bold] wrote: George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK. I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .[/p][/quote]In a survey held recently, 70% of Labour voters said they would increase the top rate of tax for the highest earners even if no additional tax were actually collected. I assume this post is straight out of that mould. Sam Cam's dad makes £350k/year from a wind farm on his property, I assume you'll rethink wind now? Ref ownership and the likelhood of any legal action succeeding, see the link below for more info, as oil and gas have special conditions attached to them: https://www.bgs.ac.u k/mineralsuk/plannin g/legislation/minera lOwnership.html Unfortunately, even the climate is all about politics now..... Where does Gove come into it? Have you opened the curtains yet today?[/p][/quote]No, Sam Cam's dad should be taxed at the higher rate. The fact that there may be perverse incentives for the rich, always the biggest welfare beneficiaries, does not mean we should develop yet more gas reserves that we cannot use if we are to avoid devastating levels of greenhouse gases. HJarrs
  • Score: 2

9:52pm Mon 3 Feb 14

All 9 of me says...

HJarrs wrote:
Plantpot wrote:
All 9 of me wrote:
George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK.

I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .
In a survey held recently, 70% of Labour voters said they would increase the top rate of tax for the highest earners even if no additional tax were actually collected. I assume this post is straight out of that mould.

Sam Cam's dad makes £350k/year from a wind farm on his property, I assume you'll rethink wind now?

Ref ownership and the likelhood of any legal action succeeding, see the link below for more info, as oil and gas have special conditions attached to them:

https://www.bgs.ac.u


k/mineralsuk/plannin


g/legislation/minera


lOwnership.html

Unfortunately, even the climate is all about politics now.....

Where does Gove come into it? Have you opened the curtains yet today?
No, Sam Cam's dad should be taxed at the higher rate. The fact that there may be perverse incentives for the rich, always the biggest welfare beneficiaries, does not mean we should develop yet more gas reserves that we cannot use if we are to avoid devastating levels of greenhouse gases.
I'll probably face the firing squad now, but I think this is the most balanced post you have made in the history of your comments on this website.

Plantpot, Gove is covered in controversy, and now he wants to scrap A level courses for students. Previously, he has been embroiled in a twitter scandal to launch highly personal attacks on journalists and political opponents and to conduct a Tory propaganda campaign paid for by the taxpayer. Not to mention Issuing party political material and indulging in personal attacks would both be clear breaches of the special advisers' code and the civil service code. And you think he is sane enough to run the education ministry. Well done. One more point, I didn't ask for windfarms on private property, I said every lamppost.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Plantpot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]All 9 of me[/bold] wrote: George Osborne's father in law, Lord Howell is the fracking industries spokesman and a government advisor on energy hence George gave the largest tax breaks in the world for fracking in the UK. I will agree to fracking , after every building in this country has solar panels on , every lamppost is a wind farm , and the methane from farm and sewers is harvested . After the oil firms are taxed , the electric companies are run not for profit and and Gove is in a secure unit where he belongs .[/p][/quote]In a survey held recently, 70% of Labour voters said they would increase the top rate of tax for the highest earners even if no additional tax were actually collected. I assume this post is straight out of that mould. Sam Cam's dad makes £350k/year from a wind farm on his property, I assume you'll rethink wind now? Ref ownership and the likelhood of any legal action succeeding, see the link below for more info, as oil and gas have special conditions attached to them: https://www.bgs.ac.u k/mineralsuk/plannin g/legislation/minera lOwnership.html Unfortunately, even the climate is all about politics now..... Where does Gove come into it? Have you opened the curtains yet today?[/p][/quote]No, Sam Cam's dad should be taxed at the higher rate. The fact that there may be perverse incentives for the rich, always the biggest welfare beneficiaries, does not mean we should develop yet more gas reserves that we cannot use if we are to avoid devastating levels of greenhouse gases.[/p][/quote]I'll probably face the firing squad now, but I think this is the most balanced post you have made in the history of your comments on this website. Plantpot, Gove is covered in controversy, and now he wants to scrap A level courses for students. Previously, he has been embroiled in a twitter scandal to launch highly personal attacks on journalists and political opponents and to conduct a Tory propaganda campaign paid for by the taxpayer. Not to mention Issuing party political material and indulging in personal attacks would both be clear breaches of the special advisers' code and the civil service code. And you think he is sane enough to run the education ministry. Well done. One more point, I didn't ask for windfarms on private property, I said every lamppost. All 9 of me
  • Score: 2

10:22am Tue 4 Feb 14

Michael Inkpin-Leissner says...

Tories a again the bad and ugly party. Did I say again? They always have been. I d like to add an interesting fact. There is a conservite led government in Germany, that forbid fracking, as it won't allow adding chemicals into the earth without exactly knowing the consequences. Fracking stays forbidden in Germany!
Tories a again the bad and ugly party. Did I say again? They always have been. I d like to add an interesting fact. There is a conservite led government in Germany, that forbid fracking, as it won't allow adding chemicals into the earth without exactly knowing the consequences. Fracking stays forbidden in Germany! Michael Inkpin-Leissner
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

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