Friday, 28 May 2010

Oil rush in Kent

More bad news in Kent. An oil rush is probably an exageration, but an energy company has been given permission to drill for oil in Bidborough.

Is there any chance that some focus on renewable energy is given? There is no excuse for mining for fossil fuels. Give it up.

This is from Hazel Dawe / Kent Green Party:

Kent Green Party has been examining the area proposed for oil drilling at Bidborough. Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, comments:

“My husband, Steve, and I walked the Weald Way from Tonbridge to Bidborough, and back, past the potential oil drilling site. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is unhappy because of the local roads which will be used by lorries servicing the site, but has permitted the development regardless. Road access includes the already busy Brook Street: access to two secondary schools and to West Kent College which is still a building site with heavy lorry traffic. Then there is Haysden Lane and Upper Haysden Lane: two very narrow country lanes. At the peak there could be a lorry every two minutes.

“But more concerning is that the planned main access route near the site, Gate Farm Lane, is clearly marked as ‘Unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.’ It is a very steep, single carriageway country lane [SEE PHOTOS ATTACHED]. Lorries cannot pass each other in the lane so special passing areas will have to be built with the attendant destruction and disturbance of ancient hedgerows. The potential for accidents has been dismissed as planning officers believe that the lorry drivers will all drive safely at all times, apparently, in an area with no pavements.
“The noise has the potential to disturb enjoyment of our beautiful Haysden Country Park. The drill site is in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Special Landscape Area and part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. Tonbridge and Malling Green Party is disturbed that the proposal is in breach of both national and local policies for landscape protection(1).”

Further information: Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair, Kent Green Party on 01732 355185 or mobile 079444 71083. Contact address as above. Published by H.Dawe and promoted for Kent Green Party, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.

1. Policy references: C3 High priority will be given to conservation and enhancement of
natural beauty in the region’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs); EN26 Development proposals will only be permitted within the AONB if they protect or enhance the natural beauty and special character of the landscape; CP4 The High Weald AONB will be conserved and enhanced. Net loss of biodiversity will be prevented, and enhancement measures encouraged. (FROM: report of Head of Planning Applications to Planning Applications Committee 11th May 2010 – Tunbridge Wells Borough Council).
NB. The drilling site comes under Tunbridge Wells Borough Council however access to the site would be through A21 via A26 Quarry Hill, Brook Street, Upper Haysden Lane which are under Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

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