A petition has been launched by campaigners demanding county hall bosses begin a full and open consultation into fracking in Kent. Sue Rule, from Edenbridge, has started the petition about the possibility of fracking coming to her home county, as she was concerned about the impact the controversial techonology could have.
Kent County Council (KCC) is currently consulting on its Minerals and Waste Local Plan, which states that, subject to certain conditions, permission will be granted for exploration of oil and gas. Mrs Rule believes this element of the plan was being “buried” by the authority.
Mrs Rule said:
“I’m nervous about the attitude of this Government in this situation on what is a very important issue. I think their policy around fracking is misguided, the risks are horrendous. Nobody should be pushing this forward without proper consultation with the public. The consultation document is not the kind of thing that an ordinary person would pick up on. It seems like it is being buried deliberately. Fracking poses a threat to the very ground beneath our feet and this consultation is not in the spirit of democracy.”
A spokesman for Kent County Council said it was the authority’s legal duty to
“consider applications in an impartial manner…The regulatory regime set down by government, and our position statement, makes clear we cannot adopt a policy either in favour or against fracking. We understand there are some that would wish the county council to have an anti-fracking approach. But this is not possible given the national planning policy agenda, which development plans such as these must adhere to. The plan does not have a default position to support fracking, but is expected to have a positive stance towards development.”
There are no current proposals for fracking in the county. Residents have until October 12 to comment on the Local Plan. Have your say via www.consultations.kent.gov.ukby