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Press release – Balcombe Anti-Fracking ProtestorsKaim Todner were recently instructed by a representative of the Frack Off campaign group.
We are delighted to announce that following a hearing at the High Court on the 16th September 2013, the Protestors at the Balcombe anti-fracking camp will not be evicted from the site. They will be able to remain there until the 8th October 2013, 10 days after the current planning permission for Cuadrilla is due to end.
The application by West Sussex County Council to take possession of the land where the protest is taking place was adjourned. In examining the Council's skeleton argument, Mrs Justice Lang was critical of the Council's application and expressed concern that, although the application had been presented as a straightforward matter, domestic law and the ECHR indicate this is a much more complicated process which requires careful balancing of human rights considerations such as the right to peaceful assembly and to demonstrate. The Judge cited key case authorities but noted that the Council had ‘not troubled the court with these authorities or any analysis'.
If West Sussex County Council do not apply to restore this application by the 8th October, it will be dismissed.
West Sussex County Council confirmed that no application to renew the licence had been made by Cuadrilla. All Senior Counsel present agreed that when the licence was granted three years ago, the implications of fracking were possibly not considered sufficiently, but now with raised awareness, any application to renew that licence would generate more debate.
16 September 2013