VIDEO: Row erupts over Danesmoor fracking protest
Traders in a north Derbyshire town say protests against a company involved in fracking are harming their businesses.
About 20 to 30 anti-fracking campaigners are currently camped on Pilsley Road, near the offices of PR Marriotts in Danesmoor.
Two of the drilling company’s neighbours on Old Pit Lane have complained about the effect the protest is having on their businesses.
But the protesters themselves assert their right to protest peacefully at the site and totally refute the businesses other allegations.
Mick Brown, from M & M Timber and Building Supplies, said: “People feel intimidated – we’ve even had some people ask us if it is safe to come down the road.
“Since the protest started it has cut our business by half.”
Mr Brown says he employs six people from the local area, who all have mortgages and bills to pay – and children to provide for.
“I don’t have strong views one way or the other on fracking but what is going on is turning me against them,” he said.
“It is destroying my livelihood.”
Mr Brown also said he has seen protesters urinate in nearby fields and had even found bottles full of urine in his yard.
Joe Boyd, a spokesman for the frack-free movement in the UK, said: “We have tried to facilitate our protest the best we can.
“We have our slow walk on one side of the road and there is a business further down the road that gets about 50 lorries a day – they aren’t having any problems.”
Mr Boyd also said the protesters were using public toilets in the area, adding that the idea they were throwing bottles of urine into the businesses’ yards on purpose were ‘ludicrous’.
“It might be an inconvenience for some people but in the long term they will thank us for being here,” Mr Boyd added.