Saturday, 28 September 2013

CPRE Protect Kent Opposes Gas Drilling Applications

Protect Kent (The Kent Branch of CPRE), Queens Head House, Ashford Road, Charing, Ashford Kent TN27 0AD, Telephone: 01233 714544
Press Release:
Fracking in Kent? The Public Say No!
Jamie Weir, PR & Events Manager, Protect Kent 
Friday 27th September 2013
Almost 300 concerned members of the public crowded in to Sheperdswell village hall on Wednesday night to listen to CPRE Protect Kent’s views on the 3 applications for exploratory boreholes in Dover district. CPRE Protect Kent Chairman Richard Knox-Johnston introduced the organisations views and briefed the crowd on the serious concerns that CPRE Protect Kent has with the test boreholes being drilled, whilst the Chairman of our Environment Committee, Graham Warren, gave a technical description of the geology of the area and the potential impact that drilling may have on Kent’s water resources.  CPRE Protect Kent’s experts believe that in an already water-stressed area of the country, the prospect of loss or contamination of water resources that are already heavily committed is too great a risk and that the geological uncertainties of the Kent coal fields remain too great a hazard

Members of the public were given the opportunity to ask questions of the CPRE experts in attendance, whilst the local MP Charlie Elphicke also attended to hear the views of the public and to answer questions. He echoed the concerns raised by Protect Kent over the particular risks of gas exploration in this location and announced that he would raise these concerns with Ministers.
CPRE Protect Kent has a number of serious concerns about test boreholes being drilled in these rural areas, not least the landscape and traffic implications whilst our Environment Committee has raised serious concerns regarding the potential for groundwater contamination due to the particular formation of geological layers and fault lines beneath the chalk.
CPRE Protect Kent Chairman Richard Knox-Johnston said:
“There is considerable concern amongst those in the area about this drilling operation, the way in which it needs to be regulated and the unseemly speed with which the planning application is being processed. We are also concerned by the many impacts these developments will have on the tranquil landscapes of the Dover district. We would ask all members of the public who are concerned by these developments to respond to the Kent County Council planning applications to ensure that their voice is heard.”
1.To access the planning applications, please follow the links below:
2. CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is a charity which promotes the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England. We advocate positive solutions for the long-term future of the countryside. Founded in 1926, we have 60,000 supporters and a branch in every county. President: Sir Andrew Motion. Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.
3. Protect Kent (The Kent Branch of CPRE) is one of the charity’s largest county groups, with more than 3,000 supporters, 12 district groups and four special-interest groups, which focus on transport, planning, historic buildings and the environment.
4. Protect Kent (The Kent Branch of CPRE) exists to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country.
5. Registered office: Queens Head House, Ashford Road, Charing, Ashford, Kent TN27 0AD, Telephone: 01233 714540, or, email: A company limited by guarantee, registered in England number 4335730, registered charity number 1092012.


  1. I'm not against fracking. I don't think it's any different from drilling for gas or oil or coal mining. Any activity which involves digging into the ground can have massive consequences (try looking up the Lake Peigneur disaster on You Tube) Anybody who has lived in former mining areas knows about the issue of subsidence and the problems that can ensue with getting house insurance. And this, I think, is the real issue. If fracking produces the amounts of gas predicted, some companies and individuals are set to make colossal amounts of money. I can see no reason why they should be allowed to do this unless they agree to fully insure people living in the vicinity of their operation against loss or damage. When I say that they should fully insure people I am suggesting that they should not be given a licence unless they can demonstrate that they can fully cover the costs of the damage in a worse case scenario. It seems to me that the fracking fanatics can't have it both ways. Either there are vast amounts of money to be made, in which case the companies can well afford to cover their potential liabilities; or the profits are being overstated in which case it isn't worth the risk. The bottom line is that companies have to pay for any damage they cause and individuals should be entitled to full compensation for any losses they incur as a result of commercial activities.

  2. I will scan in and email you the Environment Agency Response re Sericol.

    There appears to be a small team of tory blog spammers. But examination of their comments reveals that there are some explanations they avoid challenging. One example is the hole in the underground pipe at Sericol which appears to have leaked for 30 years prior to discovery in 1993.

    But the facts, unaddressed by the tory spam propagandists, are that initially pressure tests found no loss of integrity of that pipe. The hole was discovered later after initial pressure testing eliminated the underground pipe as a leakage cause. So there has always been a possibility that the leak to ground was from surface tank and pipes and may have been deliberate to obscure a history of thefts of the chemical.

    If it is the fact that internal inquiry at Sericol in 1998 was into forged engineering qualifications. If it is the fact this led to Sericol giving severance to a site safety engineer. If it is a fact this engineer was the tory cllr just weeks later found guilty of libel. Would it not be the fact that if another tory cllr told the High Court there had been no process of inquiry that would have amounted to perjury ?

    And maybe we have to look no further than that for the explanation why spammer Thanet tories are wont to encourage the 30 year leak explanation whilst neglecting to mention the other possible explanation for the massive pollution of aquifer.

    Maybe the aquifer contamination was for a period of five years or less' coincident with the employment of a Thanet tory cllr with shall we say questionable engineering qualifications. Is it the fact that he had served in REME TA in early 80s but had failed his REME Trade tests to be a vehicle mechanic ?

    How I look forward to John Hamilton unveiling his much vaunted subject of his evidence.


    1. Please do Richard I would be very interested in reading and publishing it

  3. You are probably not against murder either. I bet you think its no different from manslaughter. You can drink the fracking water!!!
    Buy shares in the company and you can be the richest fracker in the grave yard!

  4. A worst case scenario like Flixborough what's the names of the solvents there again ? What's the name of that solvent that polluted aquifer at Sericol and indeterminate amounts are missing ?

    But the insurance point has previously been addressed by a Roger Stearn of Old Newton Suffolk re Sizewell nuclear power station. He tried the insurance industry himself to see if he could secure insurance against a Sizewell nuclear ecosystem disaster. Nope.