Monday, 9 September 2013

East Kent Next Balcombe?

Kent Green Party and campaign group East Kent Against Fracking have joined forces to oppose planning applications for methane gas exploration in the former Kent coalfield.

The applications, submitted to KCC by Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, are for exploratory drilling at Shepherdswell, Tilmanstone and Guston (1), within the area of the Kentish Stour aquifer.
Thanet Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, said: “We totally oppose these plans. Exploratory drilling, possibly leading to full-blown fracking (2), is a serious threat to the Kentish Stour Aquifer, which supplies water to tens-of- thousands of homes in Ashford, Dover, Deal, Canterbury and Thanet (3).

“The Environment Agency is concerned about the sustainability and security of the Kentish Stour Aquifer (4) and countryside charity CPRE Protect Kent has warned that gas extraction from this area could result in the irreversible contamination of a major water supply source (5). Should exploration lead to gas extraction, we will also face the dangers of subsidence and  earth tremors, in an area already prone to seismic disturbances, the destruction of our countryside and atmospheric pollution, which has seriously affected human and animal health in Pennsylvania where this process has been allowed (6)”.
Green Party County Councillor, Martin Whybrow, said: “I am disappointed by KCC’s plans to rush through these applications (7). There are very complex associated issues. People, including KCC's own councillors and officers, need time to find out more, as reflected in some of the early optimistic and naive pronouncements from KCC. We will be working with East Kent Against Fracking to organise public meetings across East Kent to discuss and set out the issues and to mobilise opposition to the applications”.

To find out more about the public meetings visit our website  where will post dates, times and locations once finalised.
“If these applications are approved it’s highly likely that East Kent could become the next Balcombe, with residents understandably resisting this risky form of drilling.”


FURTHER INFORMATION: Ian Driver, County Press Officer, Kent Green Party: Tel: 07866 588766.

Promoted by Stuart Jeffery for Kent Green Party, 82 Buckland Road, Maidstone ME16 0SD

KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is available by subscription at


(1)   The planning applications can be seen at

Coastal Oil and Gas already has KCC planning permission to conduct exploratory gas drilling at Woodnesborough nr. Sandwich (see

The granting of the 3 applications would mean that Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd could conduct exploratory drilling from 4 locations in the former Kent coalfield.

Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd is a 50% partner with Australian energy company Eden Energy; see

(2)   The extraction of coal-bed methane gas often involves the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of the coal seam. See article on World Coal Association website

(3)   See East Kent Stour Chalk Groundwater Final Report, The Environment Agency 2008 (attached to this e-mail)

(4)   See East Kent Stour Chalk Groundwater Final Report, The Environment Agency 2008 (attached to this e-mail)

(5)   See CRPE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Briefing Note: Shale Gas Recovery (attached to this e-mail). For further information about this briefing note contact Graham Warren, Chair of CPRE - Protect Kent Environment Group on :01233 612 265

(7)   See planning applications pages listed in (1) above, which show target decision date as 15 November 2013


  1. “People were lighting the streets on fire”: 25th anniversary of Coal Bed Methane evacuation

    2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the forced evacuation of a small village in Wyoming, USA following Coal Bed Methane (CBM) operations nearby.

    “It’s just kind of strange driving by all those empty houses and knowing what they have been and were worth. We bought the first home out there. We’ve lost it all. Everything we’ve worked for” said Hugh and Marie Polly, ex residents, to a local newspaper a year later.

    Early in 1987 villagers of Rawhide Village found hydrogen sulfide and methane seeping from cracks in the ground and bubbling in a stream close to their homes.

  2. The fracking Czar – Lord John Browne

    As 30% owner of UK fracker Cuadrilla, and with a seat in the heart of government, Lord John Browne is the UK’s fracking Czar.

    Indeed, John Browne is an extraordinarily powerful man. Notorious for his involvement in raising student tuition fees and as a twelve-year head of controversial oil company BP, Browne is now an unelected part of the Cabinet Office, right in the centre of government decision making.

    The peer’s influence comes from the many jobs he has created during his time in the corridors of power. The people appointed to these jobs have one thing in common: they owe their position to Browne.

  3. So what does fracking mean to those unfortunate to live above the fracking beds?

    Watch this harrowing documentary from the United States to find out.


    1. Check out Lord John Browne's track record at BP and decide for yourself whether this man should be heading up the governments fracking agenda:

    2. Interested to see that someone called Bluenote is your main follower on this issue. I say interested for, up to a couple of years ago, I used to contribute to blogs as 'Bluenote' with a google account in that name. I chose the name because I am of right wing views, hence 'Blue' politically, and wrote brief notes.

      It would seem the name has now been hijacked by someone usually more famous for accusing Tory councillors of invented RMR service, running illegal gun ranges or committing perjury. Quite ironic really and brought a smile to an otherwise grey day.

  4. Richard Card

    (1) I have questioned a tory Cllr to clarify his claimed RMR Service and to clarify his EMT Training

    (2) I have not ever said that 6th Thanet Gun range was illegal. I have published its planning summary which was for .22 rifle.

    (3) I have also published copies of range records showing calibres in use above the planning consent level

    (4) In 1999 Cllr Barry Coppock directed TDC Director of Community Services to hand in to police a sack of misfires and empty cases collected from land belonging to my pal Bill True who was adjoining land owner. This is evidence of live firing from neighbouring land back into the range. And evidence this was not blank fire but live fire.

    (5) In 1995 a letter signed by a Planning Officer Mr Dennis claimed that with regard to unlawful earthworks, firing excess calibres and noise nuisance Planning had no jurisdiction. Wrong in law and Harvey Patterson has recently been provgided the TDC Planning reference and been asked to start his Terrorism Act review from 1995 and ending at Richard samuel's report to police.

    (6) I have never accused a cllr of perjury. I have asked Cllr Hayton to clarify what he told High Court in 1998. Did he tell the Court that there was no process of inquiry touching on the defendant ex tory Cllr Maison. If this was his evidence what was his witness status (Fact or Expert. What about the Kent Police Authority call for inquiry August 1997 which extended into adult leaders of Kent Adventure Training Corps, Deal Barracks Bombing 89, arrests for paramilitary training activity 1987.

    (7) In 1998/99 a meeting of Margate Charter Trustees was told that there were Kent Police Special Branch inquiries. It appears that the High Court Judge and Jury and the Home Secretary were told different and I have asked Cllr Hayton to answer. Simples.

    (8) At one time our Thanet internet right wingers (as you confess yourself to be) called my coining a term "Westwood Triangle" of pollution as conspiracy theory. Sericol, Thor and Westwood cross ground. So who was right mate ?

    (9) At one time right wingers mocked the very idea that terrorist suspects would train at British ranges.

    But then I posted the Yetgoch linkies. So the right wingers modified their position that no such thing would have occurred in Kent. Ouch. Linked to the Yetgoch activity was use of a disused monastery at Tunbridge Wells. So the right wingers change position again and say that sort of thing may have occurred in Kent but it would never have happened in Thanet. The bodyguard training school cover stories would have had nothing to do with the bodyguard training organisations set up at Deal Barracks 76 to 82. Not even the one information suggests used a Thanet Gun range at a time a Mark Yates was an instructor member. Wot !! The same Mark yates as is mentioned in the Yetgoch report and whose mention caused the retired Det Ch Supt case officer for Ken Speakman murder 1996 to send a report of concern to Kent Plod pro services ? The very same and yes retd MI5 officer Speakman was a member of 6th Thanet Range.

    I am not Bluenote. But if you want to find one person blogging in a number of names then check out the use of words like "Perfectly". Perfectly correct comment. Perfectly decent cllr. Epps/Mallinson/Hamilton funny how all three do it ?

  5. Richard Card

    Thank you for publishing the above. I published a lot of evidence on my old blog re 6th Thanet Range. Including a copy of a letter sent in the 1990s to Pc Eley, the rural beat officer for the range. An anonymous commenter and myself then went at it and I kept publishing more evidence. The anon admitted that a "Renegade pistol section emerged at the range in about 1981".

    The following week Pc ELEY died by being hit by a train on track a few hundred yars from the closed range. I took the blog down and reported direct to HM Coroner copying much of it to Pc Eley's friend Cllr Ken Gregory as a courtesy. The blog was resurrected by a hacker and I had to go through Google about a year ago to eventually get it taken off the net. I think the hacker was from Denmark but not sure.

    The range records I publsihed shew that when Pc Eley made a duty police visit during firing there was a policeman on range who was signed in as a member and with a range membership number. This was a Pc Pollard.

    But the police visit day was the only one in about a year of records on which only .22 rifle was in use. IE The one day Pc Eley visited was the only day the range fired within their planning consent limit.

    To some extent I had linked this question to another. The other question was about an internal police inquiry into leakage to targets of planned police visits and warrant raids. The main inquiry was about two failed warrant raids on Thanet men about back street drugs factory reprocessing bodybuilding steroids to make "E" allegedly pushed on club doors.

    The letter to Pc Eley in the 90s was copied at that time to Home Secretary, Shadow Home Secretary and to two Kent HM Coroners who had officiated in a 1995 Margate Police custody death case. This letter will also be in the report, currently in preparation, for Lord Carlile and the independent barrister who reviews operation of Terrorist laws.

    I want Harvey Pattersons position re Richard Samuel's report to police (re Standards Process concealment of evidence in their consideration of complaint against Cllr Hayton and Planning Officer Mace) And what advice or action Harvey has now re duties to report under Terrorism Act. And of course if Cllr Hayton wishes to clarify what he said in evidence to High Court 1998 I would include it in the report. But I note I first offered this to hayton by recorded delivery 30th March 1999 when I said I would forward his statement of explanation to Home Secretary and Sir Ronnie Flanagan. So Hayton's silence on the subject has been "Perfectly" consistent. He has kept silent since March 1999.