My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

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. 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:

  4. 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.