Cuadrilla has asked Lancashire County Council to delay consideration of its planning applications for two exploratory drilling sites near Blackpool.
The applications, for drilling and fracking up to eight wells at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, were due to be discussed next week, starting on Wednesday (January 28th).
Two days ago (Wednesday January 21st), the council’s planning officers recommended the applications should be refused. The reasons given were the impact of noise at night at both sites, along with road safety issues at Roseacre Wood.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Cuadrilla said it had sent extra information to the council about how these problems could be tackled.
“The detail of this additional mitigation requires proper consultation and planning regulations clearly require this”, Cuadrilla said. “We have therefore also requested a deferral in the determination of our planning applications to allow for this consultation to take place”.
Cuadrilla said it had written to the chair of the Development Control Committee, promising to add extra measures to reduce noise at both sites.
On the traffic concerns, Cuadrilla said: “We have from the outset recognised the importance of traffic to communities local to the Roseacre Wood site”.
It said it had already shared with planning officers extra information about traffic routes which would address the issues they had raised.
“We and our expert advisers believe these mitigations address all issues which have recently been raised by the Planning Officers and should be more widely discussed before the DCC [development control committee] determines the planning applications.
Lancashire County Council response
A statement in the past few minutes from Lancashire County Council said: “The applicant has made a request to members of the Development Control Committee to defer its decisions on the planning applications relating to shale gas exploration at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. That request will now be given due consideration.”
It is understood that the committee will not be able to make a decision on Cuadrilla’s request before Wednesday when it would be meeting to discuss the applications.