Protesters outside the Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe are being directed to a specified assembly area from this morning (Tuesday September 10).
Sussex Police has reacted to continual disruption of the B2036 London Road with the issue of a Section 14 notice under the Public Order Act 1986 that has come into effect at 9am and will continue through until midnight on September 27.
The notice, signed by chief constable Martin Richards, states that it is reasonably believed that the public assembly may result in ‘serious disruption to the life of the community’ or ‘the purpose of persons organising it is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do or to do an act they have a right not to do’.
The assembly will be confined to a clearly delineated area on the western side of the verge opposite the entrance to the Cuadrilla site starting approximately ten metres north of the police control van and continuing along the verge for a distance of approximately 30 metres.
Chief superintendent Paul Morrison said: “This will allow a significant number of people to assemble in close proximity to the site to carry out their protest, but without causing obstruction to the road. We will review its use on a daily basis.
“Since protesters started to gather at the end of July we have facilitated peaceful protest and will continue to do so. However, over the last week we have seen a rise in the amount of unlawful activities and this has caused increasing disruption to the local community and to those trying to carry out their lawful business.
“This is unacceptable and we have reluctantly had to take this course of action. Anyone who chooses to ignore the direction faces arrest.
“We would urge anyone intending to organise any form of protest at the site at any time to make contact with us.”