Along with scientists, industry insiders, and experts, they discussed the controversial industry, which has began to explore the extraction of gas from layers of shale rock deep underground.
The issue came to the public's attention after minor earthquakes were felt in the Fylde area of Lancashire near Blackpool, and after protests in Balcombe in West Sussex in the summer of 2013.
The company faced fierce opposition from local people, despite promises the industry could give £100,000 for each drilling site and 1% of profits. Even Campaign to Protect Rural England have come out against fracking, citing fears about pollution to local water supplies and the water table.
In short, fracking occurs after a drill has gone deep underground. A mixture of water and chemicals is used to fracture shale rock and release gas back to the surface to burn for energy.
But the chemicals used are believed to be highly toxic. If they leak from the drill site into the water table it is feared they could remain there for generations, disrupting drinking supplies, agriculture and industry.
Then there are concerns about the waste left over, and what happens to the toxic mix after the process is used. It is not clear if water utilities companies are willing to treat the water. There is also a fear about earthquakes caused by fracking.
"On our side we had Graham Warren, who had worked for the Environment Agency for many years. Once he had raised his objections about pollution to the aquifer, the fracking company withdrew their planning application.
"We are often accused of putting an emotional argument but actually we represent society in microcosm. Residents up and down the country... have joined together to fight this industry."
EU Commission advisor on fracking Michael Hill said that regulation of the industry was not sufficient. With the Environmental Agency not having the teeth to challenge the industry.
His concerns were echoed by many among the 300 people who had gathered at the debate in Canterbury. But industry expert Dr Nick Riley said the opponents were scare mongering, and that researching and developing the fracking industry will be very important to help meet UK energy demands.
But Green Party parliamentary candidate and Thanet district councillor Ian Driver said the political establishment couldn't be trusted to handle the issue sensitively.
He pointed out that Kent County Council have provided no training for officers about the planning issues involved wih fracking. He also said the organisation was exposed by the fact it had invested £173 million of its pensions pot in companies linked with the industry.
He said :"The government is wasting so much taxpayer's money on the fracking industry. But wouldn't it be better supporting non polluting and renewable sources like solar, wind and tidal power?
"I also think that we should be thinking about nationwide programme of insulating homes and businesses, so that we reduce the demand for the energy in the first place."