Cuadrilla’s plans to frack for gas in the Fylde area of Lancashire come before county councillors in Preston later this morning.
The proposals are for exploratory drilling and fracking at up to eight wells at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood near Blackpool. If approved this would be the first high volume hydraulic fracturing in the UK since earthquakes at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall well in April and May 2011.
Last week Cuadrilla asked the council to defer a decision on the planning applications after planning officers recommended they be refused on noise and traffic grounds. The company said it had submitted new proposals to the council for dealing with these issues and said time was needed to consult on them. People objecting to the applications have urged the council to go ahead as scheduled.
The development control committee will decide whether or not to defer the applications. If the meeting goes ahead it could last for two and a half days. The application for Preston New Road would be heard today and tomorrow (Thursday) morning. The application for Roseacre Wood would begin at 1pm tomorrow and could continue into Friday.
Opponents of fracking from across the UK are expected to support objectors to the applications at a rally outside County Hall where the meeting is taking place. Last week a petition with more than 6,000 signatures opposing the application was handed in to the council.
The meeting begins at 10am this morning. We will be posting updates and tweeting throughout. Lancashire County Council is webcasting the meeting. Link here (click on View the webcast above the red headline bar)