|PROPOSED SITE AT FORMER TILMANSTONE COLLIERY|
Hundreds of people will be attending public meetings to discuss three controversial planning applications to allow exploratory drilling for coal and shale bed methane gas at the East Kent villages of Shepherdswell, Guston and Tilmanstone this week(1).On Monday 17 September Tilmanstone Parish Council meets to discuss an application to drill on the village’s former colliery site. Neighbouring Eythorne Parish Council is expected to meet shortly to discuss this application. On Wednesday 18th September Shepherdswell Parish Council are meeting to consider an application for test drilling near the village. On Thursday 19th September, there is a village meeting at Guston to discuss a similar
Dover District Council will be discussing a motion calling for a full report on the implications of the planning applications at its meeting on 18th September(4).Protect Kent, an affiliate of the charity Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has issued a statement expressing its concerns about the planning applications and will be holding a public meeting for residents of Guston, Shepherdswell and Tilmanstone on 25th September(3).
The applications have been submitted to Kent County Council by Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, which already has permission to conduct exploratory gas drilling at nearby Woodnesborough.Campaign group East Kent Against Fracking and the Kent Green Party oppose the applications. They argue that exploratory drilling could pollute the Chalk Aquifer, part of which lies beneath the drilling sites and provides water for thousands of homes in Kent. They point out that additional vehicle movements and noise, as well as light pollution resulting from 24-hour drilling operations, will industrialise the East Kent countryside. If gas is discovered and permission granted for extraction, they warn that this may lead to full-blown fracking, which could well cause serious damage to the area.
Green Party Euro-MP and anti-fracking campaigner, Keith Taylor, will be visiting the Shepherdswell site and meeting local campaigners on the evening of Friday 20th September(5).Ends
For further information contact Ian Driver on 07866588766
(1) The planning applications can be seen at
Coastal Oil and Gas already has KCC planning permission to conduct exploratory gas drilling at Woodnesborough near Sandwich. See: http://host1.atriumsoft.com/ePlanningOPSkent/loadFullDetails.do?aplId=34407)
(2) Tilmanstone Parish Council 16th September, Tilmanstone Village Hall 7pm. Contact Parish Clerk Mrs Cathy Skinner 01304 830200. Shepherdswell Parish Council Wednesday 18th September 7pm Shepherdswell Parish Hall. Contact Parish Clerk Steven Durbidge 01304 830242. Guston residents’ meeting Thursday 19th September Burgoyne Community Centre from 7.30pm CT15 5LY Parish Clerk Glynis Farthing firstname.lastname@example.org
(3) Dover District Council meeting 6pm Wednesday 18th September will be discussing the following motion:“This Council is concerned by the prospect of fracking and related drilling activity in the Dover District area and requests that a report is brought forward to the next meeting of this Council to inform the Council of the nature of the process, the potential impact on subsurface water resources and geological formations, the type and scale of the surface structures, and the impact of anti-fracking demonstrations in the light of recent experience in Sussex on the local communities and on the police."
(4) CPRE Protect Kent pubic meeting Wednesday 25th September 7.15pm Shepherdswell Village Hall. CPRE statement on the planning applications can be seen here: http://protectkent.org.uk/blog/fracking-coming-kent/
(5) Keith Taylor Green Party MEP will be visiting Shepherdswell and meeting local campaigners on Friday 20th September. Full details to be announced in separate media release soon.