Anti-fracking campaigners are calling for an immediate halt to drilling plans at the Daneshill Energy Forest in Sutton-cum-Lound because they say the drill site is on top of an old World War II explosives factory.
Frack Free Nottinghamshire and Frack Free Yorkshire both claim the site is potentially contaminated with high explosives.
But DART Energy, who are carrying out the drilling, say they are aware of the site’s history and have accused the campaign groups of scaremongering.
DART are due to being to drilling for coal samples at the site in the coming weeks, something that has caused concern amongst local residents, environmentalists and anti-fracking groups, who claim the company are actually looking to use the site long-term for fracking for gas.
And now, the campaigners say they have discovered a more deadly reason for the drilling to halt.
“According to maps of the site and information found at a local museum, the drilling will take place on the site of a World War Two explosives factory, which produced up to 300 tons a of explosives each week” said Peter Kennedy of Frack Free Yorkshire.
“The Environment Agency lists old explosives factories as special sites’ and states that under no circumstances should probe holes or boreholes be conducted unless open excavation has proven the base of potentially contaminated soils because of the risk of striking an explosive device or a pocket of highly concentrated explosive contamination.”
“Dart Energy must immediately halt their plans to drill until a thorough investigation of the site has been conducted, as per the recommendations of the Environment Agency report.”
“There is a clear and present danger that there are explosives or explosive residues buried on site, which risk being detonated by the drilling.”
Mr Kennedy’s view was supported by Jane Thomas of Friends of the Earth, members of whom recently visited the site at Daneshill Forest.
“DART Energy propose to drill even though the drill site is on the location of a 450-acre munitions factory in the war, a fact they seem to have completely missed,” she said.
“So either they don’t know about the factory, or they think an World War II munitions factory does not have the potential to cause any contamination.”
However, DART Energy responded by rejecting the campaigners views, saying they knew all about the history of the site and that they were nowhere near where the old munitions factory was.
“When we do a site survey, we check out all factors that could affect the site and ensure we have everything in place,” said a spokesman.
“We are well aware of the site’s former history but we are not on top of where the factory was, we are at least 100 metres away from it.”
“Nothing adverse appears to have happened there for a long time, it’s been woodland for a long time now and everything has been fine.”
“There are other works sites close by too and nothing has happened to them.”
“This is just scaremongering by those opposed to what we are doing.”
“We have already set up part of the drilling rig and nothing has blown up or been disturbed.”
“We have dealt with everything in the proper manner through the proper channels and everything has been fine.”