“We’ve listened to feedback on fracking plans”, says Cuadrilla – but criticism continues

12th June 2014

Cuadrilla’s latest planning application to explore for shale gas in the Fylde area of the Bowland Basin has been published by Lancashire County Council.

The application to drill and hydraulically fracture four wells near Little Plumpton is now available to the public, along with an Environmental Statement which gives the findings of the Environmental Impact assessment. Click here for application documents Lancashire County Council will now carry out its own public and statutory consultation.

Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive, Francis Egan, said the company had taken on board feedback from a consultation with local people, community groups and stakeholders. “Where it has been reasonably practical to do so, we have amended our plans to incorporate feedback and suggestions, which is reflected in the materials that have gone live today”, he said.

A company press release said the following changes had been made to the application:

  • 20% reduction in the use of mains water during fracking, through revisions to fracking plans and reuse of fracturing fluid
  • Reduction in HGV movements through reduction in the amount of flow back fluid transported off site
  • Reduction of over 50%  in the hours fracking pumps will operate
  • Reduction in the height of the flare stack from 15m to 10m.
  • Covered lighting to prevent light spillage

Cuadrilla said its consultants, Arup, has prepared an Environmental Risk assessment for Preston New Road – the first for an onshore shale gas exploration project in the UK. The company says it has also submitted a planning application for a series of stations that would monitor seismicity before, during and after the operation within a 4km radius of the site.

Consultation criticism

Cuadrilla described its local consultation as “extensive”. It included surgeries, where residents had the chance to talk to company representatives. One resident who took part, wrote a report of his experience at a surgery on the Residents Action on Fylde Fracking website

He said: “On the whole, I think Cuadrilla struggle to answer pertinent questions and attempts were made to con me with what we know are the same old arguments.”

He described how the company representative tried to compare the operation at Wytch Farm in Dorset with the high volume, high pressure, slick water fracking process proposed for Fyle. He described the company’s use of the phrase “good neighbour” as “marketing bull***t” borrowed from American marketing efforts” .

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