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Protesters unite over Cuadrilla fracking plans in South Downs National Park


Protesters against fracking in one of Britain's national parks were joined yesterday by residents from a village that could become the second flashpoint over the controversial energy strategy. The demonstration against fracking in Balcombe, West Sussex, was joined by residents from Fernhurst, another village in the South Downs National Park.

Residents in Balcombe are concerned about plans by the energy firm Cuadrilla, whose chairman is the the former BP chief executive Lord Browne, to explore shale gas deposits in the area. In Fernhurst, Celtique Energie is submitting proposals to drill for oil and shale gas.

More than 130 letters of objection from Fernhurst villagers have been sent to the South Downs National Park Authority over the proposals. "I am certain there will be severe environmental consequences and human health issues relating to the work being carried out," said Patrick Cam from the village.

Celtique Energie is "genuinely committed to meaningful engagement" with residents, it says.