Campaigners ‘will grow’ at Balcombe Cuadrilla site

Balcombe site protest
Balcombe site protest

More protesters from as far as Lancashire are expected to join campaigners at Cuadrilla’s site in Balcombe today (Friday July 26).

Around 50 people held an all-night stand against the oil drilling company.

The firm has been given permission to drill and campaigners fear it will carry out hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking.

Brenda Pollack, from Friends of the Earth, who joined the protest yesterday, told this newspaper she expects campaigners to grow as well as police presence.

“It’s still a very peaceful atmosphere - people are sitting on the grass and drinking tea.

“As Friends of the Earth we are definitely supporting the protest to show that public don’t want more dirty fossil fuels for energy and we need to switch to other renewable sources like the sun.”

The Environment Agency granted a mining waste permit for the firm on Wednesday July 24.

This permit covers the management of wastes arising from an exploratory borehole to test for oil and gas at the site.

It has been reported that Cuadrilla planned to commence drilling on Saturday July 27.

However a spokeswoman for the firm said today that it is now looking to start work early next week.

She said: “Cuadrilla’s forthcoming activity at Balcombe is for exploratory drilling only and is a temporary operation that will not include hydraulic fracturing.

“Should Cuadrilla wish to undertake further activity, they would need to apply for new permissions and licences from the relevant regulatory authorities.”

She added the company currently has no plans to apply for such permissions and licences.