Worthing Downlanders formed a new group to fight the threat of fracking at an emergency meeting held in the Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road on August 1st. The new group Worthing Against Fracking (WAF) called for an immediate ban on all fracking in Sussex in view of their perceived risks to the environment and public health.
Around 50 people from various backgrounds attended the meeting, which included a presentation by national anti-fracking campaigner Ian R Crane. WAF distributed maps showing the government has offered an exploratory drilling licence, which could include fracking, for the Worthing area including downland within the National Park.
Trevor Hodgson from WAF said : “There is a considerable amount of unease and concern about the prospect of large-scale fracking across Sussex.
“A lot of people are simply unaware that Cuadrilla’s operation at Balcombe is just a very thin end of a very thick and dangerous wedge. Fracking companies are looking to extract shale gas and oil from a massive swathe of the countryside, with 6,000 separate wells a real possibility for Sussex.
“The feeling of the meeting was very strongly that this has got to be opposed all the way. We are urging people to take a trip to Balcombe and show their support and also to write to local authorities, MPs and so on.
“WAF will also be organising events in Worthing so we can let more of our fellow citizens know exactly what is being planned and how we can fight this insidious industrialisation of our beautiful countryside. Together we can stop this nightmare!”
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves extracting oil and gas by pumping water and toxic chemicals underground under high pressure.
A WAF blog has now been set up at worthingagainstfracking.blogspot.com
West Sussex County Council’s website says: “Clearly now fracking and unconventional oil and gas drilling are matters of significant public interest. West Sussex County Council welcomes the debate on this issue and should there be any future application for fracking in West Sussex residents will be encouraged to submit their views.”
The next meeting of Worthing Against Fracking is scheduled for September 4th .