Plans for Kent methane gas drilling withdrawn

Frack Free Kent notice
Image caption Campaigners opposed the drilling planning applications in East Kent

Plans to drill for methane gas at old coalfield sites in east Kent have been withdrawn temporarily.

Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd had applied to Kent County Council to carry out exploratory drilling in Shepherdswell, Guston and Tilmanstone.

The council said the plans had been withdrawn but they would be re-submitted with "information requested".

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said the decision showed how "little research" the firm had done.

Opposition groups are concerned the drilling could lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the future.

'Try again'

Graham Warren, chairman of CPRE's protect Kent's environment committee, said: "The fact that Coastal Oil and Gas has been forced to withdraw these applications because of a lack of information shows how little research they did on the hydrogeological conditions in the area.

"It is great news that they have withdrawn the applications, but we have to be mindful that they may try again in the future."

The council has already granted the Coastal Oil and Gas permission to conduct exploratory gas drilling at nearby Woodnesborough.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: "Coastal Oil and Gas Limited advise that they intend to collate the additional information requested and re-submit the applications in due course.

"No further action will be taken on the above applications. Any new applications will be subject to the necessary consultations and publicity. "

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