Protestors against fracking gather in Havant

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PROTESTORS took to the site of one of the area’s oldest natural springs to highlight fracking fears.

Around a dozen people waved placards and chanted anti-fracking slogans at Homewell, in Havant town centre.

CAMPAIGN Protestors gather in Havant town centre to campaign against possible fracking in the area.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (132362-271)

CAMPAIGN Protestors gather in Havant town centre to campaign against possible fracking in the area. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132362-271)

The Solent Fracking Awareness group includes people from the Green Party and concerned members of the public who fear Havant’s water supply will become polluted if oil companies are given permission to frack in the area.

Caroline Footman, a member of the Green Party, said: ‘I’m here because I think it’s so important that we preserve the environment rather than fill the coffers of investors.

‘I’ve got grandchildren and I want the world to be safe for them

‘I’ve read quite a bit about fracking and I know the potential dangers – from earthquakes to pollution.’

The protestors included concerned members of the public, religious groups and members of the Green Party.

Some of them have also demonstrated at the controversial Cuadrilla site in Balcombe, West Sussex.

Licences have been issued at two sites in the area, Forest Side, near Rowlands Castle, and on land off Hulbert Road, Leigh Park.

Although licenses have been issued by the government, planning permission for drilling has not been obtained from the local authorities.

Green campaigner Tim Dawes said: ‘We fear that if we get fracking in this area, and this is an area that has been licensed, then the watercourse, the aquifers, will be polluted.

‘We have every reason to fear that.’

Fracking involves pumping high pressure water into the rocks below to expand them and extract the shale gas.

Mr Dawes said he believes there is a high risk of polluting the watercourses in the process.

He added: ‘Once you’ve polluted an aquifer it’s impossible to clear it up.

‘You can have spillage or pollution on the ground or in rivers and it’s awkward and difficult but it can be cleaned up.

‘You can’t clean up an aquifer that’s a few thousand feet below the ground, it’s impossible.’

A public meeting, entitled Fracking and You, takes place at St Faith’s Parish Hall, in The Pallant, Havant, on Thursday from 7pm.

There will be a short film, a speaker from Balcombe village and an update on the local proposals.