Programme released for West Sussex fracking information day

S14440413x Demonstration outside County Hall North in Horsham ahead of the full council debate on making West Sussex a Frack Free Zone -photo by Steve Cobb
S14440413x Demonstration outside County Hall North in Horsham ahead of the full council debate on making West Sussex a Frack Free Zone -photo by Steve Cobb
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The full programme for a free public information event about oil and gas exploration and extraction has now been finalised.

Workshops have been organised to give information to attendees about the science and technology of conventional and unconventional oil and gas extraction, the regulation of the industry and how residents can engage in the planning process.

This free event has been organised by West Sussex County Council in response to concerns from residents about a lack of available information relating to oil and gas extraction and exploration.

It will take place on Saturday November 8 in the Assembly Rooms at The Council House in Chichester between 10am and 4pm.

At the meeting of the full council last month members decided to not take a position either way regarding fracking after residents submitted a petition asking the council to make the county a frack free zone.

The council is the planning authority for any applications for matters such as exploratory drilling for gas or oil. The county lies in The Weald - an area known to have large amount of shale gas and oil beneath it as is therefore on interest to energy companies.

The aim of the event is to provide residents with information from a variety of viewpoints, and is an opportunity for residents to gather information, and find out more information from the relevant organisations attending.

There will not be specific discussions about live planning applications.

Also attending will be officers from the Environment Agency (EA), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as well as the County Council. Representatives from the South Downs National Park Authority are also expected.

The proposed programme is as follows:

10am to 4pm: Exhibition stands

10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm: Information sessions 1 and 2 entitled ‘Regulatory framework & how to engage in the planning process’

11.30am, 1.30pm: Information session entitled ‘Science and Tech: Issues of shale gas/oil in the UK’

The event runs from 10am to 4pm with regular information sessions throughout the day. The exhibition will take place in the main hall and information sessions in the Ancillary Room.

There will also be a number of different information stands manned by representatives from the county council, the HSE, the Environment Agency and the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Representatives of local interest groups have also been invited to host an information stand.

People can drop in at any time to gather information or ask questions.

However, due to limited capacity within the hall residents are asked to confirm their attendance in advance by emailing oilandgas@westsussex.gov.uk.

The Council House is located in North Street.

More information about the venue, including travel directions, can be found on the website: http://chichestercity.gov.uk/history/the-council-house/