Lancs rejects Cuadrilla seismic testing plans

Councillors on Lancashire County Council’s development control committee refused permission today for shale gas testing at Cuadrilla’s site at Singleton in the Fylde.

Council planners had recommended the application be approved. But there had been more than 300 objections to the plans.

The committee voted by seven votes to six, with one abstention, against the proposals to start pressure testing and seismic monitoring at the Grange Road site.

The application is separate from Cuadrilla’s applications to drill and frack up to eight wells at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, which will be decided before the end of April.

Yesterday, Shirley Powney, of the Ribble Estuary Against Fracking campaign group, told the Blackpool Gazette: “We are concerned that activation of the well is likely to produce similar problems observed during larger scale excavations with regards to the migration of gases and water into the environment.”

Reacting to the decision, Friends of the Earth’s Energy Campaigner Donna Hume said: “This decision is yet another blow for Cuadrilla. Refusing the application was the right decision by Lancashire County Council, as it is clear that the people of Lancashire do not support shale gas extraction.

“The council must say no to fracking anywhere in Lancashire and turn down Cuadrilla’s two applications which will be considered in the next few months.

“Fracking is not compatible with tackling climate change, and carries serious risks to the local environment and people’s health – that’s why the Scottish and Welsh Governments have both called moratoriums.

“The Government in Westminster must follow their lead and instead pursue renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will create more jobs and help us avoid devastating damage to our climate.”

Lee Petts, chief executive at the OESG, described the decison as a missed opportunity. “Local people, concerned about the potential for fracking to cause minor earth tremors, would have benefited most from this proposal.

“Cuadrilla and the public could have learned a lot from the tests proposed at the Grange Hill site, which would have helped to allay fears about seismic activity.

“In addition, a better understanding of subsurface conditions could also help to understand the potential for the production of geothermal renewable energy in Lancashire too.”

Cuadrilla reaction

Link to planning application

Link to planning officers’ report

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