Anti-fracking group warns of ‘danger to coastline’

Members of Frack Free Cleveland in Hartlepool during their walk to protest against fracking.
Members of Frack Free Cleveland in Hartlepool during their walk to protest against fracking.

Anti-fracking campaigners staged a protest walk and a public meeting in Hartlepool against fuel extraction works earmarked for the town and surrounding areas.

Dave Spence, member of the Frack Free Cleveland group, has researched the controversial method of extracting gas and oil, also known as Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), and wants people in the area to be aware of what it entails.

He says that if people are armed with the knowledge when the ‘fracking’ companies seek planning permission to start work from local authorities, then members of the public can agree or disagree as they see fit.

Dave says there are plans on the way to carry out underwater fracking from the sea bed from Alnmouth, in Northumberland, down to the Headland, in Hartlepool.

He believes fracking would be potentially dangerous, and would also be a risk to the environment if toxins from underground seep into the sea.

Dave and other members of Frack Free Cleveland staged a walk and kayak earlier this month, from Alnmouth ending up in Hartlepool, informing people of the procedure along the way. It culminated in a meeting at Hartlepool Rovers Football Club.

He said: “As far as I’m aware licences have been granted to carry out this procedure from Alnmouth to Hartlepool, and that would mean about 8,000 wells being drilled. I don’t believe it can be done successfully and without incident.”

He added: “I’m not even from Hartlepool, I’m from Stockton, but when I heard about this I researched it and thought, I can’t just sit back and not do anything about this, I’ve got to inform the people there. The coastline is under threat.”

The opposition group’s activity comes after Lord Howell of Guildford drew gasps of astonishment from the House of Lords for suggesting the controversial form of gas production could take place in the North East without any impact on the surrounding environment earlier this year.