Activists call on Stormont to revoke fracking licence for Co Antrim forest
Anti-fracking protesters have called on the Department of Enterprise to revoke a licence for exploratory drilling in a Co Antrim forest.
The No Fracking Northern Ireland group says Infrastrata has been granted a licence to drill to a depth of 2,000m in Woodburn Forest - just 400m from a reservoir that supplies drinking water to Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Islandmagee and Belfast.
The group said local residents and users of the drinking water were not made aware of or given any input into the decision before it was made. The project is being carried out under 'permitted development', which is usually reserved for minor changes without a need for planning permission.
"Many people now contest that exploring for oil/gas does not fall into the category of minor uncontentious development," the group said, adding that it would require a complete environmental impact assessment anywhere else in the UK.
The Department of the Environment said it had "carried out an EIA determination and concluded the exploration drilling will have no significant environmental impact".