Anti-fracking campaigners blocked a busy road to mount a musical protest.

Belt it Out at Balcombe attracted up to 500 people to energy firm Cuadrilla’s drilling site on the B2036 London Road.

It was the biggest gathering since August 19 when 30 people, including Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas, were arrested.

Yesterday acts performed on a makeshift stage set up outside the gate of the site.

The event came as figures released by Sussex Police revealed they have had to stump up nearly £1 million to other forces to help them deal with the protests at the site.

Figures released by the force on Friday for the period up until August 29, show a total cost of £2.184 million for the policing operation at Cuadrilla’s oil drilling site at Balcombe.

Sussex Police has called on the services of forces as far away as Wales and costs now stand at £980,095. They are likely to rise above the £1million mark by the end of the protests.

Accommodation, subsistence and vehicle costs account for £173,150 and supplies and services amount to £9,800.

Ordinary police officer overtime stands at £283,038, rest-day working at £602,453 and staff overtime and consequential divisional overtime has cost £135,620.

Day-to-day police salaries for officers working on the operation add up to £387,514 so far.

Superintendent Lawrence Hobbs said: “We have always said that we will be open and transparent with the costs and as up-to-date as possible.

“To do this, certain estimates have to be made for the most recent period and these can cause the figure to rise or fall from week to week.

“Over the last week, the costs submitted by mutual aid forces are slightly less than were estimated when releasing the previous cost.”

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