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Home   Deal   News   Article

"Drilling could lead to fracking" say protesters

18 September 2013
by Graham Tutthill

Protesters are holding a public meeting to voice their concern about plans to drill for coal and gas on the outskirts of Dover.

Although the company behind the plan says it does not involve fracking, people living in the area are worried about what could happen if the plan is given the go-ahead.

Rosie Rechter, of East Kent Against Fracking

Rosie Rechter, of East Kent Against Fracking

Coastal Oil and Gas Limited, from Bridgend in Glamorgan, have submitted the application for temporary permission - for up to a year - to drill an exploratory borehole at Guston Court Farm, off Pineham Lane, Guston, to test for coal measures and methane gas. Drilling will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Similar proposals have been submitted for the former Tilmanstone Colliery site at Pike Road, Eythorne, and between the A2 and Westcourt Lane, near Puckland Wood, at Shepherdswell.

A spokesman for Coastal Oil and Gas said they want to take samples of Westphalian coal for laboratory testing to see whether the methane can be used as a “clean energy supply”.

“This is a continuation of an on-going sampling and testing programme across South Wales, Bristol, Somerset and Kent.”

The company stressed: “This application is for exploration works only and does not entail any fracing (sic).

“This site is not necessarily considered to be the most suitable for gas production should gas resources be found.”

Guston Parish Council has called a public meeting tomorrow evening at the Burgoyne Heights Community Centre at 7.30pm and it is being supported by Whitfield Parish Council and the Burgoyne Heights Group.

Jeff Goodsell, chairman of Whitfield Parish Council, said: “This could be another Balcombe situation although the application stresses no fracking at this stage. I am assuming this is to assess the commercial viability for fracking to potentially take place at some time in the future.

“The main concerns at the moment for the drilling application are access, noise and light pollution and environmental impact, especially bats at the church.”

Vehicles going to and from the site will use Archers Court Road and Pineham Road.

An initial drilling rig will put the casing in place to protect nearby groundwater and a second rig will then be installed over the borehole and drill down to sample the coal measures between 400 and 900 metres below the surface.

Full story in this week's Dover Mercury.


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