Funds sought for ‘review’ of Woodburn drill project

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A lobby group is seeking financial support in an effort to review the decision to allow exploratory drilling at Woodburn Forest.

Environmental campaigners ‘Stop the Drill’ are hoping to raise £6000 through online donations.

The group has repeatedly stressed its opposition to the plans, which saw energy storage firm InfraStrata granted permitted development rights to drill an exploratory well at the rural site, two miles outside Carrickfergus.

The Crowdfunder project aims to cover the professional fees of a planning consultant.

Campaigners are also seeking support for legal costs to urgently review the decision to grant permitted development rights.

Among concerns previously highlighted by Stop the Drill and other campaign groups was the potential for water contamination at the site, which is in close proximity to Woodburn Reservoir.

Those opposed to the drill project also claimed the Department of the Environment was not fully apprised of the chemicals involved in the operation before permitted development rights were granted.

However, InfraStrata has repeatedly stated that the proposed drill site will be watertight to prevent run-off, while the chemicals which will be used are “standard industry products”.

Meanwhile, Stop the Drill’s fundraising campaign has raised £1255 from 29 backers since its launch last week.