Keep Billingshurst Frack Free held a successful, well-attended public meeting at the Billinghurst Community Centre, last Friday 10th April, where many local residents shared their concerns over the potential fracking site at Broadford Bridge. Some even expressed worries that most people in the area don’t even know about the site and what it’s likely to be used for.
A packed hall heard presentations from Friends of the Earth, the Sussex Wildlife Trust and local residents, after which there was a lively Q&A session with most attendees staying afterwards to find out what else they can do to help the campaign to Keep Billingshurst Frack Free.
One of the organisers, Emily Anderson, resident of Billingshurst said:
"We were very pleased to see so many people come along - there is a definite need to know more about this site. We will be doing our best to gather and share all the relevant information, and look forward to having more people on the team to help us Keep Billingshurst Frack Free."
Brenda Pollack, South East Regional Campaigner for Friends of the Earth said:
"All of the speakers pointed out the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground if we want to avoid damaging climate change. Fracking companies such as Celtique Energie are more interested in profit than local communities."
Celtique Energie has permission to test drill for oil or gas at a site in Adversane Lane – between Billingshurst and Pulborough. The company has cleared the site and the well is set to be drilled this spring. Being an exploratory well, no fracking will take place at this stage, but if oil or gas is discovered it could do in the future.
Anyone else wanting more information about the campaign can join the Keep Billingshurst Frack Free group on Facebook.
1. The well at Woodbarn Farm (Adversane Lane, Broadford Bridge, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9ED). was granted planning permission by West Sussex County Council in February 2013.
2. Celtique Energie have stated that they are only exploring for conventional oil and gas resources. However, their partners, US firm Magellan Petroleum have said in information to their investors that they are looking for unconventional reserves (which are likely to be extracted using hydraulic fracturing - fracking). See http://ir.magellanpetroleum.com/all-sec-filings/content/0000061398-14-000019/0000061398-14-000019.pdf (page 26)
3. Celtique Energie have been refused planning permission to explore for oil near Wisborough Green (due to the impact of traffic) and Fernhurst, within the South Downs National Park.