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Investors Advised to Pull Out of Shale Gas Extraction in the UK – Balcombe Latest

September 16th, 2013

Lancashire and Manchester are next up for attempts at fracking, but the saga of Balcombe continues. Today at the High Court in London a Judge ruled that West Sussex County Council’s eviction order that they issued last week in an attempt to remove the protest camp was flawed and ruled that costs are to be paid by them. The case is adjourned until 8th Oct and will then either be withdrawn or dismissed. The camp will remain and similar camps will appear at the igas site in Manchester and at Cuadrilla’s site in Lancashire. Investors – it’s time to take your money out before it’s too late. Fracking is a doomed industry in this country. Read this article for more insight into the almost laughable bungling of Cuadrilla’s first attempt to mess up the countryside:

Balcombe latest: 50 days on: Charlotte Johnson reports on the latest developments at the anti-fracking camp after 50 days of fracking resistance  13 September 2013

Reblogged from:
The Balcombe resistance continues with twists, turns and bizarre developments. Since Reclaim the Power ended, a callout for a 28-day rolling blockade dubbed ‘28 Days Later’ has been answered with a diversity of actions from a tripod in the road, to a local resident locked on to the roof of a tanker, a local environmental scientist handcuffed to the gate, a mass ‘balls to fracking’ football game at the gates and a man locked on to the tow bar of a caravan across the road – all stalling delivery lorries for up to five hours. Over 100 people have been arrested since the drilling began, with police increasingly carrying out snatch arrests and using obscure powers to quell protest.

As well as the Balcombe protesters’ persistence and creativity, fracking firm Cuadrilla has experienced a series of setbacks on the site. Earlier this month it was discovered it had breached its planning permission by exceeding the amount of allowed noise pollution. Balcombe residents complained to local officials of loud drilling noise in the evenings, causing Cuadrilla to temporarily halt its drilling operations to install further sound proofing, but it has continued drilling on the site.

No permission

Earlier this month, Cuadrilla had to withdraw an application to extend its current planning permission. The application was originally filed in July and sought to extend its current planning permission, due to end at the end of September, by six months. However Friends of the Earth pointed out that the company should never have been granted planning permission in the first place, as current regulations require the company to notify landowners if they plan to horizontally drill under their homes. Cuadrilla has also discovered a need to extend its current drill site as it is too small to contain its operations. It further seeks to quell local residents’ fears by removing any reference to potential fracking.

While Cuadrilla plans to submit a new planning application, it will now have to cease operations after 28 September. This means that the fight to stop drilling in Balcombe has been moved back to the local council planning authorities. During a fresh round of consultation, local residents will be able to lodge objections to the proposed planning permission. This is also a major setback for the company as it will further delay its plans by several months.

And in a bizarre twist, it recently emerged that Cuadrilla may not have proper permission to drill the land anyway, as the land ‘owner’ has an agricultural mortgage with Lloyds TSB, who has not given permission for the non-agricultural use of the land. We await updates and confirmation of this situation.

Preparing to evict

Despite Cuadrilla’s drilling permission coming to an end, this week saw West Sussex County Council take the first steps in attempting to evict the Balcombe camp. On Monday, a county official served the camp with an eviction notice. The notice asked that protesters leave by 9am the next morning or the council would be forced to start legal proceedings against them. Earlier today the camp received a legal notice from the High Court for immediate possession, though protestors are contesting the short notice – Monday – of a court appearance that prevents effective preparation of a defence case. In a press release, the council said it was concerned by the increase in the number of blockades on the road and cited road safety as its reason for asking the protestors to leave.

Sussex Police also released a statement that same day, stating that a Section 14 order would be in place from 10am the following morning. A newly formed protest area would be set up across the road from the site to facilitate protests. Anyone found to be protesting outside that area would be subject to arrest. Many felt that this was possibly a backhanded way for the council to attempt to clear the camp. However the camp is still in existence, with the people in the camp defiant that they will stay. The council are now going through the appropriate legal channels to obtain a possession order which will allow the camp to be cleared. Much of the camp’s infrastructure is still in place, people are still camping outside the drilling site on the verges, and they are still standing in the road to slow the delivery lorries.

After 28 September, Cuadrilla plans to leave Balcombe and return to Lancashire to continue its drilling operations there. London-based company iGas is also scheduled to start drilling in Manchester within the coming months. Campaigners have vowed to replicate the Balcombe protest camp in any area of the country that is being threatened with unconventional fossil fuel extraction. It looks like we’ll see a very busy autumn full of anti-fracking action.

Charlotte Johnson     read article at Red Pepper

7 Responses to “Investors Advised to Pull Out of Shale Gas Extraction in the UK – Balcombe Latest”

  1. there is no igas site in Manchester,,,,,,,it is in Salford ,,,,,,,,,you know ,..where the BBC is , a completely different place,,that’s like saying KENT London.other than that a good blog

    • Well hardly John – Salford is 10 mins from the city centre. Manchester freight terminal and Manchester City football ground is there. I was there 2 years ago and took a train to Manchester and a 10 min bus ride and I was there.On a map you can see it is contiguous with the city and even a part of it – it is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester.

      • l am Salford born and bred of 66 years

        Manchester City’s ground is NOT in Salford but in fact East Manchester ( which is why the area is called Eastlands ) Ashton New Rd Manchester M11 3FF

        The Freight terminal is in Trafford Park .Trafford Westinghouse Rd Manchester, Greater Manchester M17 1DY‎

        There is no part of Salford contiguous with Manchester ,,,,,,,we dont have city walls , or roadblocks but that doesnt mean we dont have ordinance boundaries

        If you are a journalist your research sucks

        Greater Manchester as an authority no longer exists it was dissolved some years ago

        Salford has been a city since 1926

        In 1974 the City and County Borough of Salford was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972, and was replaced by the metropolitan borough of City of Salford

        Greater Manchester is being replaced by utility companies etc in addresses to customers by Lancashire our old county

        there is a grouping of ALL the authorities in Greater Manchester called

        Greater Manchester Combined Authority this was set up in 2011

  2. I apologise and bow to your greater knowledge, but someone should tell Wikipedia. If you google Salford its heading states: Salford, Greater Manchester. And then it says: Salford (/ˈsɒlfərd/ SOL-fərd) lies at the heart of the City of Salford, a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, in North West England. And as regards it not being contiguous, how come my ten minute bus ride from the centre of Manchester to Salford Quays was through streets that ran with no interruption from the city centre to the quays? Not a break, not a change in sight.

    • l know lve seen wiki contents ,,,,,,,,,,,The government along with various local councils around Manchester city centre thought the beeb would go along with the Manchester bid and site themselves there…… preparation they put in inner city ring roads , through roads , innercity motorways and tried to change all major routes into freeways ,,,,the beeb went to the quays in Salford and all the media people followed,,the roads however are lifeless places ,just a means to get through the various towns and cities ,and onto a motorway……….we in Salford are not happy with it we had the heart of our city ripped out to be replaced with roads , and soulless shopping centres
      Thats why we are protective and tribal about our City………….

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