Fracking firm Cuadrilla to appeal Lancashire planning application defeat

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 23 Jul 2015 15:19, Last updated: 2015-07-23
Government Minister to now decide if Cuadrilla can frack in Lancashire
Government Minister to now decide if Cuadrilla can frack in Lancashire

Shale gas firm Cuadrilla says it will launch an appeal in an attempt to overturn the decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse it permission for two fracking sites.

In a statement, the company said it will apply to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the ruling, although the decision will likely be passed to the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Cuadrilla said it will submit its appeal next week and described the move as a “natural step in the democratic process”.

The company had applied planning permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells on each of two sites, one at Preston New Road and the other at Roseacre Wood.

It said it will also be appealing the refusal of a separate planning application to install seismic and ground water monitoring stations around the proposed Preston New Road exploration site. A similar planning application was granted for monitoring works around the proposed Roseacre Wood exploration site, however the company will also appeal against certain conditions imposed on this planning consent.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “We have given careful consideration to appeal the planning decisions taken by Lancashire County Council. This is a natural step in the democratic process for deciding any planning application.

“We recognise that onshore shale gas exploration still feels relatively new in the UK and we remain committed to engaging with local communities to reassure them that exploratory operations can and will be carried out safely and in an environmentally responsible way.

“I understand that some people would prefer that we did not appeal but I am confident that we will demonstrate to Lancashire and the UK that shale gas exploration and fracking is not only safe but represents a very real opportunity to create jobs, fuel businesses, heat UK homes and stimulate significant local economic growth.”

Friends of the Earth’s North West campaigner Furqan Naeem said: "Cuadrilla's decision to appeal Lancashire's Council's resounding no to controversial fracking shows a blatant disregard for the views of local people and local democracy.

"Lancashire councillors and residents have rejected fracking and the Government's recent report revealing potential negative impacts on everything from the health of residents, to house prices, to climate change shows they were right to do so.

"An appeal will put further pressure on residents who have been fighting to keep their community free from this filthy industry for four years now. Cuadrilla bullied their way into a second chance to make the case for fracking in January, they don't need a third.

"David Cameron must stick to his commitment that fracking decisions belong with local councils and not allow Lancashire's decisions to be overturned."

Campaigners have indicated that a successful Cuadrilla appeal will likely by challenged through the law courts.

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