Organic farmer calls on MP to back fracking campaign

Beki Adam carrying logs at Chantry Farm in Pyecombe, north of Brighton
Beki Adam carrying logs at Chantry Farm in Pyecombe, north of Brighton

A SOUTHWICK woman is calling for answers ahead of a Government vote on fracking.

Beki Adam, who owns a small farm business on the Downs, has arranged to meet East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton in Westminster next Wednesday to discuss the matter.

She wants him to follow the example of two other Conservative MPs by asking the Prime Minister to release the full DEFRA report, Shale Gas Rural Economy Impact.

Miss Adam, of Victoria Road, said: “It is clearly not just me who has major concerns regarding fracking’s negative effect on the economy – especially our rural one.

“Businesses on the Downs such as mine, especially any which depend on rural tourism and the beauty of Sussex could not remain unaffected – let alone our water supplies.”

The organic farmer is ‘deeply concerned’ about what she calls ill-thought out plans to frack the UK.

“The Infrastructure Bill is designed to take away property owners’ rights to object to unconventional oil and gas lateral drilling and associated operations deep down in their land,” she added.

“This insidious Bill now contains clauses to allow ‘any substance’ to be ‘kept’ or ‘left’ at depths of 300m or more – which the public were not made aware of during the public consultation.

“Government have even admitted landowners might be liable for pollution incidents from operations carried out without their consent!”

She said the legislation, if approved, would take away the rights of private individuals and conservation charities and give those rights to private industry.

“The companies who buy the fracking rights, to drill and exploit, do not have to be British – in fact China has already invested in Cuadrilla, of Balcombe fame,” she added.

“The trail of accountability is almost impossible to follow. Also, where is UK energy security when it is not in UK ownership?”

Miss Adam is concerned there would be no limit on quantity, duration or substance to be stored below ground.

She added: “Gas storage is then possible as well as access.

“Underground Gas Storage (UGS) is not an industry most are familiar with, but it would be made possible from 300m in our own land – with no compensation whatsoever offered to the landowner.”