ANTI-FRACKING campaigners are protesting outside County Hall this afternoon (Wednesday).

Frack Free Isle of Wight demonstrators gathered at 4.30pm, ahead of tonight's Isle of Wight Council meeting at 6pm.

They said: "The aim is to raise awareness of the real likelihood of fracking coming to the Isle of Wight and the government's proposed changes to planning law regarding oil drilling and fracking."

However, a motion due to go before tonight's meeting states the new rules relate only to conventional drilling for shale gas, and not to fracking.

If the plans are approved, it means exploratory drilling works will be granted permitted develop rights and will not require planning permission.

Cllr Barry Abraham has urged the council to object to the government's proposals.

He said proposals for shale gas exploration should continue to be determined by the minerals planning authority.