Kent Green Party has welcomed the decision of Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd to withdraw its planning applications for exploratory gas drilling at Guston, Shepherdswell and Tilmanstone in East Kent(1).
Thanet Green Party Councillor, and member of campaign group East Kent Against Fracking, Ian Driver, said: “The applications have been withdrawn because of overwhelming opposition. Four Parish Councils have voted against the drilling. The Environment Agency, countryside charity CPRE-Protect Kent and Dover MP Charlie Elphicke have all raised serious doubts about the plans. But most importantly local communities near to the drilling sites have organised their own campaign groups which have raised awareness about the dangers of the plans and encouraged people to object. Kent County Council has now received literally hundreds of objections from local residents. This fantastic example of people power has been the decisive factor in forcing Coastal Oil and Gas to withdraw.”
But Driver warned against complacency. “It is very likely that Coastal Oil and Gas will re-submit applications in 2014 which will attempt to address the issues raised by the objections. So people need to be ready to resume opposition and get back on the campaign trail. The Green Party is the only national political party to oppose the extraction of shale and coal bed methane gas and associated fracking processes. We will have parliamentary and local council candidates in place by then, who will work tirelessly with local residents to oppose drilling for gas in East Kent.”