CAMPAIGNERS have called for oil drilling in a village to be stopped after the Government declared a temporary pause on fracking.

Villagers in Balcombe, near Crawley, have spoken out against plans to run a three-year “flow test” at an oil well in the village.

Oil firm Angus Energy has applied to conduct a test at the well which could produce up to 3,000 barrels of oil.

But Louisa Delpy, of Frack Free Balcombe, said villagers wanted oil drilling to be banned after the Government imposed a temporary ban on fracking last week.

She said: “The ban changes nothing in Balcombe, essentially.

“We want the ban to be extended to unconventional oil and gas extraction too.

“Under current Government definitions the current plans for Balcombe aren’t classed as unconventional.

“But we think the definition needs to be changed because there is nothing conventional about these plans.”

Plans for the oil well tests are set to be decided by West Sussex County Council next year.

Already dozens of objections have been sent in by angry residents and campaigners.

Balcombe villager Clive Sparke said he was concerned possible air pollution would affect his asthma.

“The prevailing wind blows from the site towards the village,” he said.

“It will bring emissions from diesel generators onsite and HGVs, threatening all residents in our village.

“We are totally opposed to the industrialisation of our countryside.

“We have endured in excess of seven years of oil industry blight and want neither Angus or Cuadrilla to return.”

But others voiced their support for the oil well test.

Paul Lott said extracting oil would generate jobs in the area and ensure less fossil fuels are imported from abroad.

Meanwhile John Rogan added: “I support this application as home produced oil is good for the UK GDP.

“It will lead to additional jobs in the local area.”

Former Crawley MP Henry Smith welcomed the Government’s temporary ban on fracking.

“I am determined to stand up for local residents in Crawley, and I know there were worries about fracking locally,” said the Conservative parliamentary candidate.

“Despite the industry’s efforts, fracking has continued to be very unpopular with local communities including mine.

“It’s not hard to see why people don’t want the risk of earthquakes damaging their homes or why they won’t put up with lots of heavy vehicles from a fracking site coming through their neighbourhoods.

“I’m very happy the Government has listened to the voices of concerned local people and decided to put a stop to this harmful industry.”

Mr Smith said the Government had “put the safety of local communities first”.

“The latest scientific evidence has changed the facts on fracking, and the Government immediately acted to put a stop to it,” he said.