FFBRA objects fundamentally to the presence of the oil and gas industry in Balcombe village for the following main reasons:
- Air pollution from traffic, site equipment and flare
- Industrialisation of our peaceful village and the rest of the Weald. (Exploiting this kind of geology requires a great many wells.)
- Potential water pollution, particularly via the well bore and spills
- Potential health impacts, on skin, heart, lungs and hormones
- Potential earthquakes
- Unreasonable waste of water
- Strife and stress in our village
- Generation of quantities of toxic waste
- Fossil fuels cause climate change
Examples of why FFBRA objects to the most recent planning application
Air pollution – The prevailing wind blows from the site towards the village. It will bring toxic compounds from the flare, and emissions from diesel generators on site and HGVs.
Risk of water pollution – There may be leaks and spills, onto surrounding land and streams beside the site. These streams eventually end up in our drinking water.
Noise – In 2013, Cuadrilla ignored limits on noise until we brought this to the attention of West Sussex County Council, who should have policed noise. Can we trust them?
Toxic waste disposal – The waste fluid from the well could be contaminated with heavy metals and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMS). It will be extremely salty, perhaps five times as salty as seawater. Some will inevitably be left underground. Some will be transported by tanker, through the village, for disposal elsewhere.
Traffic volume and accident risk – There will be more traffic, particularly HGVs, driving past the village Primary School. An accident with an HGV carrying hazardous liquid, would have grave consequences.
Wildlife and environment – There will probably be disturbances to the birds and bats in the ancient woodland near the site. We should be fighting to protect our wildlife, and avoid the industrialization of our countryside.
What if something goes wrong? – Cuadrilla is a limited company, and could declare bankruptcy and walk away if a serious accident occurred.
Village life – Cuadrilla’s return would mean disruption and division in our community.
Cuadrilla has no social licence – the village voted ‘no’ in the Parish Council poll in 2014, and doesn’t want Cuadrilla back.