Cuadrilla outline new plan for UK fracking row village

Oil drilling will cease in a village in the UK at the centre of an anti-fracking campaign by the end of September, but further testing could take place under new plans by energy firm Cuadrilla, it has been confirmed. Protests have been staged in the picturesque village of Balcombe throughout the summer over fears test drilling for oil could lead to hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as fracking.

Drilling is due to end by 28 September under planning conditions set out in 2010. However, Cuadrilla said it would make a new application by the end of the month to carry out further well tests.

The energy company received planning permission three years ago to drill a 900 meter vertical well and a 750 meter horizontal bore south of the village in a search for oil. Cuadrilla had earlier applied to extend drilling work in Balcombe for six months and increase the height of a flare at the site – but that application had been withdrawn and a planning meeting set for 19 September had been cancelled.

Protests were staged outside the site of the drilling and dozens of people were arrested throughout the summer, including the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. Campaigners have claimed that Cuadrilla’s decision to withdraw plans to extend drilling are a victory for them, but the energy firm has said its changed plans are because of boundary issues.

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