Campaigners against fracking who established a camp outside a drilling supply company in Derbyshire have relocated.
The camp, at Danesmoor near Clay Cross, was set up three months ago in protest at the activities of Marriotts Drilling Ltd. The company has been supplying Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire and is part of the supply chain for the shale company, INEOS Upstream.
In a statement, the campaigners said the camp, on land owned by Worcester Bosch, was being relocated.
“Worcester Bosch have been tolerant and accommodating of the protectors, for which the frack free movement is very grateful.
“The company now wish to develop the area at the front of their premises in accordance with long established plans. Worcester Bosch are functional in the expanding domestic renewable energy sector, which will play a key role in reducing demand for fossil fuels and combating climate change.”
The statement said members of the camp, most of whom were local, had made the “strategic” decision in response to changes in the regional and national anti-fracking campaign.
“It does not indicate any retreat or backing down by the movement. Marriotts will still be regarded as legitimate target for protest action whilst they are active in or supporting the fracking industry.”
The Marriotts depot was the scene of ongoing anti-fracking protests during the summer. They made national newspaper headlines in July when a police officer was filmed pushing a campaigner to the ground.
The statement from the protection camp said the decision to leave was also a response to what the anti-fracking movement regarded as an increasing threat from companies such as INEOS Upstream. INEOS has applied for planning permission for two shale gas sites in the East Midlands (Marsh Lane in Derbyshire and Harthill in Rotherham) and has identified a third (Woodsetts in Rotherham).
The statement continued:
“It has been decided that time and resources dedicated to the camp at Danesmoor can be better allocated to enhance the increasingly popular campaign against the fracking industry in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.”
A spokesperson said the camp had raised public awareness about fracking in the region. A number of local anti-fracking groups had been established locally in the past few months, he said.
INEOS and opponents of shale gas exploration held rival exhibitions today in Woodsetts. In a recent survey in the village, over 90% of residents who responded said they were opposed to fracking locally, with just over 1% in favour. The response rate to the survey ws 90%.
The Marriott depot was covered in an interim injunction against anti-fracking protests, obtained by INEOS Upstream at the High Court in July. The order, extended earlier this month, will be contested at a three-day hearing in November.
Updated 26/9/2017 to make it clear that the camp has relocated