Address: Lower Stumble, off London Road, Balcombe, West Sussex
Operator: Cuadrilla Balcombe Ltd
Status: Short oil flow test carried out in autumn 2018
10 January 2019
Angus says unexpected water encountered during well test was “unrecovered brine from previous activities at the site. Details
2 October 2018
24 September 2018
Angus Energy announces start of seven-day flow test. Details
18 September 2018
Villagers protest against Balcombe oil flow tests. Details
12 September 2018
Balcombe flow test expected to start next week, Parish Council reports. Details
5 September 2018
Balcombe prepares to flow testing. Details
22 August 2018
EA grants new permit for Balcombe oil site but orders work before flow test can start. Details
21 May 2018
Angus Energy confirmed as operator of Balcombe licence. Details
4 May 2018
Cuadrilla applies for a environmental permit for oil storage and handling at the Balcombe site. Link to application
14 February 2018
Angus Energy, which is aiming to take over the Balcombe licence, tells the web magazine London South East that the Balcombe flow test will be “comfortably before the summer”. Details
22 January 2018
Cuadrilla and Angus Energy announce a partnership which gives Angus 25% of PEDL244 and makes it operator of the Balcombe site for £4m. Details
9 January 2018
West Sussex County Council planning committee approves unanimously planning application for three years for flow testing at the well. Live updates of the meeting and reaction and link to decision notice. WSCC decision notice
30 November 2017
Final day of comments on Cuadrilla’s planning application for flow testing at Balcombe. Details
19 October 2017
Cuadrilla announces it is to apply for planning permission to flow test oil at Balcombe. Details
End of July
Expected date by which the Environment Agency will decide variation of permit for flow testing (decision not made)
2 May 2017
Deadline under planning permission for flow testing for work to start. West Sussex County Council has said it expects Cuadrilla to apply with a fresh application in September 2017.
29 March 2017
Cuadrilla confirms it will not carry out any work at Balcombe before May 2017, suggesting the company will need to apply for an extension to its planning permission. Details
24 March 2017
Cuadrilla applies for a variation of its environmental permit and reveals details of well test. Details
30 April 2016
The Brighton Argus reports that the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Unit, based at the Metropolitan Police, have been monitoring the MP Caroline Lucas at public demonstrations, including the Balcombe anti-fracking protests, for nine years.
1 February 2016
Balcombe residents describe government plans to fast-track fracking decisions as an “attack on democracy” Details
6 December 2015
COP21 London to Paris bike ride stops outside the entrance of Cuadrilla drilling site.
4 September 2015
Police training on the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy refers to the arrest of Caroline Lucas at anti-fracking protests at Balcombe, reports The Times Educational Supplement
20 May 2015
Charles Metcalfe, an opponent of Cuadrilla’s plans to drill at Balcombe is elected chair of the parish council.
16 December 2014
Netpol reports that the College of Policing use a fictional anti-fracking protest, based on Balcombe and Barton Moss, to train senior officers.
5 December 2014
Balcombe residents’ group loses judicial review into the way West Sussex County Council’s planning committee gave permission to Cuadrilla for flow testing and flaring its exploratory oil well Details
6-7 November 2014
Judicial review of West Sussex County Council’s decision to approve planning permission for flow testing at Balcombe Details and links to other reports
3 September 2014
The Advertising Standards Authority rules that a pro-shale gas advert paid for by a US fracking company is misleading, exaggerated and unsubstantiated, after complaint by a Balcombe resident. Details
21 August 2014
Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association gets a court date for its judicial review. Details
1 August 2014
Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association wins the right to challenge in court the decision by West Sussex County Council to grant planning permission to Cuadrilla to flow test and flare in the village. Details
11 July 2014
Cuadrilla confirms that a letter which came to light during the protest court cases is genuine. It dates from 2011 and states that a subsidiary company intended to frack in the Weald Basin. A statement from Cuadrilla repeats that fracking is not required at Balcombe. Details
21 June 2014
Our FOI request for a review of policing at the Balcombe protests shows Sussex Police used covert intelligence gathering. The review also concluded the force was caught off-guard. Sussex Police says the review will help with further demonstrations. Details
18 June 2014
Sussex Police says an independent review of its operation at Balcombe will help future approaches to policing protests. Details
16 June 2014
Official report of Sussex Police’s operation at Balcombe says the force was caught off-guard. Details
13 June 2014
Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association issues legal proceedings in the High Court in a judicial review of the approval of planning permission for flow testing at Cuadrilla’s well. Details
5 June 2014
Cuadrilla’s exploration licence, PEDL244, which includes Balcombe is extended for two years. Details
19 May 2014
The latest survey by Nottingham University on attitudes to fracking shows the “Balcombe effect” is continuing as support falls to below 50%. Details
29 April 2014
Cuadrilla receives planning permission from West Sussex County Council to test its oil exploration well. Details The Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Association vows to fight on (details) and starts proceedings for a judicial review of the decision.
25 April 2014
More than 70% of the charges that went to trial following the Balcombe anti-fracking protests have resulted in acquittals or were dropped during the court case. Details
17 April 2014
Caroline Lucas MP, Sheila Menon, Ruth Potts, Ruth Jarman, and Josef Dobraszczyk are acquitted of obstructing the highway and a public order offence arising from the Balcombe anti-fracking protests. Details
31 March 2014
The trial of Caroline Lucas and four other people arrested with her at Balcombe runs out of time and is adjourned until 17 April 2014.
28 March 2014
The Police and Crime Commissioner of Sussex announces that the Home Office has agreed to contribute £905,000 to the costs of policing last summer’s Balcombe protests. Details
21 March 2014
Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association submits its objection to Cuadrilla’s planning application to flow test its well at Balcombe. Details
8 March 2014
Balcombe Parish Council confirms it will object to Cuadrilla’s latest planning application to flow test its exploratory oil well.
28 February 2014
A freedom of information request to the Department of Energy and Climate Change confirms that Cuadrilla did not seismic surveys at Balcombe.
24 February 2014
Natalie Hynde and Simon Medhurst are found guilty of besetting Cuadrilla’s Balcombe site under Section 241 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 Details. Nichola Sanger is found not guilty of the same charge. Robert Basto is found guilty of obstructing the highway but not guilty of obstructing a police officer.
Balcombe Parish Council announces the results of its poll of the village on fracking and oil exploration. On all questions, a majority opposed Cuadrilla’s existing and future plans. Details
31 January 2014
Crown Prosecution Service reveals that 35 Balcombe charges have been dropped before trial. Details
30 January 2014
Nottingham University research suggests support for fracking is continuing to fall and opposition growing since the Balcombe protests Details
24 January 2014
West Sussex County Council says an Environmental Impact Assessment is not needed for Cuadrilla’s new planning application at Balcombe
23 January 2014
Cuadrilla tells Balcombe residents it has no plans to frack at Balcombe. Details. NoFiBS says it doesn’t believe the company Details. Sussex Police says costs of last summer’s demonstrations outside Cuadrilla’s site at Balcombe were £3.985 million.
22 January 2014
Cuadrilla submits planning application to carry out flow testing at Balcombe to West Sussex County Council. Details
Nationwide anti-fracking meeting in Balcombe, which includes a short occupation of the drill site. Details
15 January 2014
9 January 2014
11 people charged with obstructing the highway at Balcombe anti-fracking protest found not guilty Details
20 December 2013
Balcombe residents take a letter to Downing Street calling for a moratorium on shale gas, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification. Details
5 December 2013
Cuadrilla submits a revised planning application for its site at Balcombe to West Sussex County Council covering flow testing, an enclosed test flare, security fencing and arrangements for site restoration. The company publishes its environmental monitoring report. Details West Sussex County Council apologies at a public meeting in Balcombe for mistakes made in the summer.
25 November 2013
The first trial of a Balcombe anti-fracking campaigner collapses after the district judge questions whether an offence took place. Details
19 November 2013
West Sussex County Council uses bailiffs to evict the roadside camp
18 November 2013
Opponents of fracking meet the leader of West Sussex County Council. Details
17 November 2013
Anti-fracking campaigners pitch tents on the lawn outside the headquarters of West Sussex County Council in Chichester
12 November 2013
West Sussex County Council holds talks on how to evict protesters at Balcombe. Details
11 November 2013
Mrs Justice Lang in the High Court grants the application for a possession order by West Sussex County Council for verges alongside the Cuadrilla site at Balcombe.
5 November 2013
Fracking companies, including Cuadrilla, tell the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee they need a “social licence” to drill and cannot go ahead without the “acquiescence” of local communities. Details
4 November 2013
Cuadrilla agrees a new 30-year lease on the site at Balcombe. Details
14 October 2013
Balcombe Parish Council announces a new ballot on oil and gas exploration at Lower Stumble. Details
9 October 2013
More protest cases come to court. Details
8 October 2013
The Guardian reveals that energy minister, Michael Fallon, met Cuadrilla executives on 24 June 2013, a month before the company got the go-ahead to drill at Balcombe.
2 October 2013
The Environment Agency investigates possible pollution of a stream near the Balcombe site which turned bright green – later suspected to be dye. Charges dropped against former model and Lewes District Council chair, Marina Baker, and Caroline Lucas’s son Ben. Dates set for first trials Details
1 October 2013
Nottingham University announces the trend in favour of shale gas has reversed since Balcombe. Details
28 September 2013
Cuadrilla’s planning consent at Balcombe expires
27 September 2013
Drilling site is cleared and Sussex Police scales down its operation. Sussex Police confirm 125 people were arrested since 25 July. Costs have reached £3.337m.
25 September 2013
MP Caroline Lucas charged with obstructing the highway and a public order offence. Details Reports say the rig left Balcombe.
24 September 2013
Sussex Police in a statement says it will allow vehicles to leave the Cuadrilla site outside the times set in the planning permission to protect public safety and prevent crime and disorder. Details
23 September 2013
Cuadrilla announces it has found the presence of hydrocarbons at Balcombe. The well is now to be closed while the company applies for permission to flow test.
22 September 2013
Third Belt it out Balcombe event
16 September 2013
West Sussex County Council fails to get an order in the High Court to evict campaigners from the roadside. No Fracking in Balcombe Society welcomes the ruling. Details
13 September 2013
Sussex Police says costs have reached £2.449m
11 September 2013
11 Balcombe residents write to the Guardian complaining about poor regulation at the Cuadrilla site.
10 September 2013
Sussex police says 100 people have been arrested so far at Balcombe. West Sussex County Council confirms it is going to court to evict protesters from the roadside.
9 September 2013
West Sussex County Council serves notice on campaigners camped along the B2036 to leave the land by 9am. The council says it is taking the action because of increased concerns for the safety of road users. The council sends a letter to Balcombe residents informing them of its action. Details Sussex Police issues a Section 14 notice under the Public Order Act 1986 restricting protest outside the Cuadrilla site at Balcombe to a specified assembly area from September 10-27.
6 September 2013
Sussex Police say costs have reached 2.381m. The force says two men were arrested on 5 September and another man on 6 September. West Sussex County Council says it has received complaints about noise from the wellsite, despite changes made by the company to reduce the impact of its work. Details
3 September 2013
Cuadrilla withdraws application for a six-month extension of planning permission and to increase the height of the flare and tells residents it plans to submit a new application for testing the well. Details.
23 August 2013
Sussex Police says costs have reached £2.3m. Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, confirms she will be applying to the Home Office to meet the additional costs of the policing
21 August 2013
Reclaim the Power camp disbands but original roadside camp remains. Sussex Police scales down its operation. Cuadrilla resumes deliveries and drilling Details 10 campaigners appear in court.
19 August 2013
Campaigners in wheelchairs blockade the site entrance. Sussex Police say 29 people are arrested, including Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas. 10 people later charged.
18 August 2013
Around 2,000 people attend a march, double the expected number. Sussex Police say there were 48 arrests in July and 34 people charged.
17 August 2013
RSPB issues first objection to fracking. Details
16 August 2013
Reclaim the power camp opens with a visit from Vivienne Westwood. Details. Cuadrilla scales down work. Details. Sussex Police says its costs top £700,000
14 August 2013
14 people arrested at Balcombe appear in court and plead not guilty. Details
13 August 2013
Environment Agency extends permit consultation extended to 28 August 2013. Cuadrilla tells the BBC it does not rule out fracking at Balcombe in future Details and confirms to the parish council that it is not likely to become a production site Details. The council defends its “no comment” on the Cuadrilla planning application. Details. 40 people have been arrested and 33 charged.
12 August 2013
11 August 2013
9 August 2013
No Dash for Gas hold a meeting about the Reclaim the Power camp in Balcombe. Details
7 August 2013
Two people arrested at Balcombe appear in court. Balcombe Parish Council is revealed to have made no objection to the planning application without consulting the village. Details Sussex Police put the bill for the protests at £73,000.
6 August 2013
No Dash For Gas announces it is switching is camp to Balcombe. Details. 15-year-old arrested at Balcombe appears in court. Details. Cuadrilla says “We’ve no intention of ruining the countryside and we won’t ruin the countryside”. Details
3 August 2013
Balcombe villagers announce the result of a poll on Cuadrilla’s operations: 85% against, 9% undecided; 6% against. Details
2 August 2013
Cuadrilla announces it starts drilling. Details. West Sussex County Council leader apologises to Balcombe residents for the protests. Details. Villages criticise the letter. Details Two people arrested after what police describe as assaults on officers.
1 August 2013
Police write to Balcombe residents about their role in policing the protests. Details. Parish councillors meet representatives of the Environment Agency. Details. The parish council chairman, Alison Stevenson, admits the council did not appreciate the full implications of Cuadrilla’s application. Details Protesters block the site entrance with a fire engine. Details
31 July 2013
Cuadrilla Resources publishes Interim pre-drill Environmental Monitoring Summary Report. Details
Natalie Hynde and Simon Medhurst, arrested after allegedly super-gluing themselves together through metal gates at Cuadrilla’s Balcombe site. Details
30 July 2013
West Sussex County Council confirms it gave Cuadrilla permission to work on Saturday 27 July until 4pm, three hours beyond the planning condition. Police defend their tactics against public criticism.
Lord Howell, father-in-law of George Osborne and until April a government energy policy advisor, asks at Lords Questions suggests fracking should be carried out in “large and uninhabited and desolate areas2 in the north east. He later apologises and says he meant the north west. Details
29 July 2013
Sussex police say they arrested six people
28 July 2013
Bianca Jagger visits the site entrance. Details
27 July 2013
Sussex Police says 12 people charged following 16 arrests on 26 July 2013. The police also report that Cuadrilla has agreed to stop bringing vehicles into the site after 2pm in recognition of local people
26 July 2013
About 60 protestors gather at the site. 16 are arrested, 11 under Section 241 of the Trade Union Labour Relations Act.
25 July 2013
At 12 noon the Department of Energy and Climate Change announces Cuadrilla has drilling consent. Details About 100 campaigners blockade the site and prevent vehicles entering. Cables are cut on a lorry delivering drilling equipment. Details West Sussex County Council confirms that an environmental impact assessment is not needed for the application for a time extension or changed flare height.
24 July 2013
The Environment Agency grants Cuadrilla a mining waste permit for Balcombe. Details
23 July 2013
Cuadrilla informs West Sussex County Council that the rig will be delivered from this date. See rig mobilisation
21 July 2013
Cuadrilla gives West Sussex County Council seven days’ notice of drilling. The council asks Cuadrilla to prepare a bat survey before determination of the application to vary permission.
17 July 2013
Cuadrilla applies for a variation of planning permission to vary the type of flare. A public consultation runs until 15 August 2013. See supporting statement
16 July 2013
Cuadrilla applies to the Environment Agency for a radioactive substances permit. A consultation runs until 13 August 2013
11 July 2013
Cuadrilla applies for an extension of its planning permission from 36 months to 42 months from the start of the development. See supporting statement
24 June 2013
Balcombe Parish Council’s oil exploration working groups meets representatives from the Environment Agency. Details
14 June 2013
Cuadrilla applies to the Environment Agency for a mining waste permit EPR/AB3307XD/A001. A consultation runs until 16 July 2013.
13 June 2013
Cuadrilla makes a statement that it was drilling a water monitoring borehole. Details
12 June 2013
The Environment Agency visits the site to check that drilling groundwater monitoring boreholes was the only activity being carried out.
31 May 2013
Cuadrilla announces a 40mph speed limit on the B2036 north of the village and 30mph on Church Hill. Details
29 May 2013
In a statement, Cuadrilla says it will impose a 20 mph speed limit through Balcombe, and monitor air quality and make the results public. It also said there was no evidence of illness as a consequence of flaring. Details
25 May 2013
Balcombe Parish Council informs residents that 60 vehicle movements in and another 60 out would be involved in delivering and removing the drilling rig. Details
23 May 2013
Cuadrilla holds a public information event in Bramble Hall, Balcombe
14 May 2013
Balcombe Parish Council informs residents that the concentration of hydrochloric acid used to stimulate the well would be not more than 10%. Details
8 May 2013
3 May 2013
Cuadrilla tells Balcombe Parish council it intends to drill but not frack an exploratory well. The council criticises the company’s use of market researchers to conduct a survey in the village. Details and formal minute
12 April 2013
Bolney Resources ltd changes its name to Cuadrilla Balcombe Ltd. Details
20 December 2012
Mark Miller, CEO of Cuadrilla Resources, and Eric Vaughan, Chief Operating Officer, speak at a meeting Balcombe Village Hall organised by No Fracking in Sussex group. Details
30 November 2012
Balcombe residents deliver letter to David Cameron calling for a ban on shale gas and coal bed methane exploitation. Details
20 October 2012
Balcombe Parish Council tells Cuadrilla in a letter that the majority of people who participated in a poll would oppose any further applications for exploration or extraction of hydrocarbons in the parish. Details
5 December 2011
Cuadrilla Resources reveals it has planning permission for exploratory drilling at Balcombe. Details
28 September 2010
Cuadrilla starts construction phase at Balcombe sites, consisting of “minor improvements to the access track, the re-grading of the existing stone platform, the construction of a drilling cellar and an Environment Agency approved drainage scheme.”
23 April 2010
Cuadrilla Resources Ltd granted planning permission under delegated powers to drill an exploratory oil and gas borehole. Details
10 March 2010
Balcombe Parish Council confirms there is no objection to the planning application. Details
15 February 2010
Minutes of Balcombe Parish Council meeting record: “Mr Greenwood mentioned a recent application (to WSCC) relating to re-establishing exploratory oil drilling at the previous site off the London Road on Estate land.
25 January 2010
Cuadrilla Resources Ltd applies for planning permission for an exploratory oil and gas borehole at Lower Stumble. Details
23 December 2009
West Sussex County Council confirms that an environmental impact assessment is not needed for a planning application on oil or gas exploration at Balcombe.
5 February 2009
Incorporation of Bolney Resources Ltd, the company that later becomes Cuadrilla Balcombe Ltd. Details