RE the fracking letter,
week ending Friday, 23
May. Of course many
share the desperate concern
regarding the possibility
of fracking activities
let loose in the area
between Andover and
Stockbridge where there
are existing oil wells.

Like every consideration of
the precious British countryside
it is a question of balance.
We live in a vastly overpopulated,
relatively tiny
island, a factor greatly exacerbated
in the last 30 years by
mass immigration.

Thus pressure on exploiting
natural reserves; pressure
on huge housing developments
in green belt areas;
pressure of a growing population
for the green lung
countryside that does survive,
like the Test Valley and
the New Forest.

The simple balance of food
production or oil wells, growing
wheat or the vast urban
sprawl that has already
taken so much land around
Andover, showing clearly
which side of the fence the
duly elected parish, town and
county councillors always
come down on.

Put another way, from
many years of observation
here and abroad a representative
when elected will
always say “We’ll fight to preserve
the countryside” but
once elected starts in that
long road of empire building
which then always cries out
for more and more building
and development. Sadly only
the direct action of the
unelected can ever stop this
headlong drive.

Then there are the more
obvious balance situations in
respect of the Stockbridge
area. The jobs and businesses
related to the passing and
staying tourist trade as
opposed to the jobs that will
be created by the 300 oil well
heads that will be built and

Then the balance of local
property prices. Every
household directly affected
will get £20,000 compensation
depending on the actual criteria
of distance, visibility,
traffic movement and noise

Homeowners, that is –
remember tenants of property
are not able to receive any
compensation while their
suffering may be just as
great and their levels of disturbance
just as severe.

Of course this figure (set in
the Lancashire field) will
hardly compensate in the
Test Valley area for the dramatic
loss of property valuation
or long-term natural
gain. I have no doubt that
some will want to support
fracking development to take
the money but then find they
cannot run as their home is
then unsaleable.

It is all these factors of balance
that will have to be
weighed when the Test
Valley Council comes to vote
on this application in due
course. They will of course
vote ‘yes’, which is why those
of us living in the area with
so much at stake have to be
prepared to fight this fracking
every inch of the way.

That is my opinion and my
direct decision in respect of
the balance questions now
before us.

Name and address supplied