"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Environmental campaigners have been arrested after staging a protest at Bacton Gas Terminal blocking the main road out of the village for seven hours.
A group of around a dozen protestors from activist group Earth First UK, gathered on the B1159 road near to Bacton Gas Terminal at 7am this morning , attaching themselves to steel arm tubes and laying across the road.
They also erected a banner across the road reading, 'Shell Stop At Nothing'.
The Bacton Road was closed to traffic until 2pm today when the protestors were removed by police.
The group said they were taking the action against Shell UK Limited, who have a base at the terminal, and were acting in solidarity with a community in the Republic of Ireland, which is opposing the development of a Shell facility near Rossport in County Mayo.
One of the protestors at the scene said: “This is our way of taking direct action in a peaceful way and getting our message across.”
Julie Briggs, a spokesperson for Earth First, added: “Bacton has been blockaded in solidarity with the people of Mayo who have been protesting against Shell virtually daily since 2005. We want to send a message of solidarity to those opposing the Irish terminal, their struggles will not be forgotten”.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said they had arrested seven people at the scene on suspicion of obstructing the highway, and three people had been summoned to appear in court at a later date.
A spokeswoman for Shell UK Limited said there had been no disruption to on-site activities or security at the terminal.
It is not the first time Earth First has been involved in a protest at the terminal.
Two years ago, in April 2008, ten men and nine women from the group, ranging in age from 21 to 50, were arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway after a protest which closed the coast road through the terminal for nearly five hours.
They had been among 25 activists from the group joining in a Fossil Fools day protest.
The action was among more than 150 protests worldwide being co-ordinated by global environmental action group, Rising Tide.