Letter: Fracking - county council ‘too complacent’

WITH regards to your article on fracking, I agree that West Sussex County Council is being far too complacent about this issue. I am also alarmed by the possible risks to our limited water supplies, but there is another danger that has largely been ignored, that is, the dangers of the instability this drilling can cause.

In his reply to the letter I have written to Lionel Barnard, the Deputy Leader at West Sussex County Council expressing my concerns, he stated that it was accepted that last year, fracking in the area caused the mini earthquakes in Lancashire.

The planning permission granted to Cuadrilla by this council for gas exploration is on a site near Balcombe, which is within a mile of Ardingly Reservoir and within 50 metres of the London to Brighton railway line. What is more this section of the railway is close to the Victorian viaduct. Surely in the light of the possible dangers, no risk should be taken that may damage this vital lifeline through our community?

Although all fracking activities have been placed on hold pending further investigations, I have asked council members to consider taking steps to ensure fracking is NEVER allowed on this site.

In your article Lionel Barnard states that forthcoming applications would not be supported if there were any uncertainty. He does not give any indication as to what can be done where the application has already been granted. Will WSCC leave the decision to proceed with fracking on this site to the other regulators listed such as The Department for Energy and Climate Change and ultimately Cuadrilla itself? I believe that the council has a duty to its residents to be more proactive in this decision and not just to sit back and see what others decide!

Anne Hall,

County Councillor, Haywards Heath East,

Coppice Way,

Haywards Heath