The U Turn announced on Thursday overturns previous promises to protect highly sensitive areas. Maidstone's drinking water is predominately from groundwater  and there are large areas of groundwater protection zones locally [3 and 4] ensuring that any contamination of groundwater supplies would be disastrous.
Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "This U turn by the government marks yet another step towards fracking across the Weald. With Maidstone on the northern edge of the Weald, this could spell disaster for our countryside, water supplies and health.
"Injecting high volumes of toxic water under high pressure through groundwater aquifers is not safe despite claims from the industry.
"Fracking is both unnecessary and clear danger to our environment. Maidstone Greens will fight fracking wherever it happens."
- SSSI map available here: http://www.magic.gov.uk/MagicMap.aspx
- BGS survey of shale reserves here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/313702/BGS_DECC_JurassicWealdShale_study_2014_MAIN_REPORT_LOW_RES.pdf