Updated news from Roseacre Wood fracking application meeting – day 1

We’ll be updating this page regularly with the latest from today’s meeting of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee in the council chamber at County Hall in Preston.

The meeting is considering Cuadrilla’s application to drill, frack and test up to four wells at Roseacre Wood. But it began with discussion on legal advice on the application, considered yesterday and on Tuesday, for Preston New Road.


Application for monitoring array is approved. Vote is 9 in favour, 4 against and 1 abstention


Meeting moves on to discuss related application for a monitoring array


Councillors vote unanimously to reject the Roseacre Wood fracking application


Cllr Alan Schofield proposes accepting officers’ report to refuse the Roseacre Wood application.

Cllr Marcus Johnstone says the acces is unacceptable the application should be turned down.

Cllr Michael Green says it has nothing to do with fracking, it would be the same for any application involving HGVs on country lanes


Committee begins to debate the application. No more public statements allowed.

Cllr Alan Schofield says proposed lorry route through Broughton is “tortuous” and “out of the question”


Final speaker in support of the application, Steven Pye,,urges people to trust the shale gas industry, which has some of the best educated experts in the world.He says the impact of the application affected a tiny number of people.


Meeting resumes with more presentations from supporters.



Break until 3.20pm


Supporters of the application begin giving evidence to the committee, starting with former vicar, Michael Roberts, who argues that gas is better than coal and UK gas is better than imported gas.

Clare Smith, of Stay Blackpool,says people who speak out in favour of fracking are bullied both face-to-face and online.

Frank McLaughlin says he is considering action against claims that all supporters of the application have something to gain.


Councillors return and meeting resumes. More presentations from opponents of the application. Speakers object on the grounds of noise, lighting, traffic, and failure of the application to comply with planning policy.

John Hodson, a West Lancashire Borough Councillor, says committee members should not be put under pressure by officers about possible costs in an appeal because this was not a material planning consideration.

James Walsh asks where is the evidence that fracking would not have an impact on tourism or agriculture.

Heather Speake, a Fylde Borough Councillor for the area including Roseacre Wood, says lives have been overshadowed by the application for many months.

To applause Teenager Lucy Cookson, who was born in Treales, tells councillors “Your decision affects me and my generation”.


Meeting breaks for lunch. Back at 1.30pm


4 minute presentations by people opposed to the Roseacre Wood Appliication

Gayzar Frackman warns of the risks of increased radiation from fracking

Susan Holiday lives near the Preston New Road site but opposes fracking across the Fylde

Dr Luisa Sanz, a mental health specialist, says stress, anxiety and sleep disturbance is already a problem caused by the prospect of fracking in the Fylde. She says Lancashire County Council has a responsibility to protect the health of residents.

Ian Wattram said HGVs serving the proposed site would be a recipe for disaster for local road users

Roy Harrison says Cuadrilla has failed to tackle the problem of impulsive and tonal noise from the site, which would affect the well-being of residents

James Beaumont says the HGV traffic that would be generated by the application means it does not comply with local planning policy DM2 or the National Planning Policy Framework.

Jane Barnes says fracking can’t operate alongside tourism or horse riding in the Fylde. Fracking will also threaten the area’s dairy industry

Anne Broughton speaks for Rebecca Crow who is a cancer patient. She says: “Nowhere in the Fylde could be less suitable”

Robert Silverman says councillors were put under intolerable pressure during Preston New Road discussions.


Planning officer, Stuart Perigo, recommends approval of application for seismic monitoring arrays.


Planning officer Stuart Perigo, recommends refusal of Roseacre Wood fracking application because its impact on highway safety and other road users is contrary to policy DM2 of the Lancashire Minerals and Waste Local Plan.


Planning officer, Stuart Perigo, tells the meeting that traffic generated by the site would have an unreasonable impact on existing road users, particularly vulnerable ones. Noise levels could be controlled and would not be a strong enough reason for refusal.”It is concluded there is little if any opportunity for fracking fluid to migrate to pollute ground water at the depth proposed”, Mr Perigo says. Refusal on these grounds would be unsustainable, he says. Emissions and particulates from the site are unacceptable, as is visual impact of the site, he adds


Lancashire County Council Planning officer, Stuart Perigo, says because Roseacre Wood is a temporary application (six years) it will not result in an unacceptable loss of agricultural land or have a negative impact on tourism. It would be unreasonable to consider the application on what may or may not happen in the future, he says.

Stuart Perigo (centre)

Stuart Perigo (centre)


Planning Officer, Stuart Perigo, begins presentation of his report on Roseacre Wood application.

Chairman Munsif Dad says the Preston New Road application will be decided on Monday. More complaints that public and councillors cannot hear.


Cllr Hayhurst calls for another vote to refuse the Preston New Road application. He says the written advice is not as strong as the verbal advice the committee received yesterday in a private meeting. Cllr David Howarth agrees the advice is different. Cllr Alan Schofield says the advice is essentially the same and there is no need for another vote.


Councillors return to the meeting


Meeting adjourns for 15 minutes for distribution of legal advice to members of the public and a supplementary email, received by one committee member, to be given to all councillors on the committee. Link to legal advice

Paul Hayhurst criticises advice from legal counsel as “appalling”. He said the gist of the advice is that if the planning officers say there is no visual impact then there is no visual impact. That is for councillors to decide, Cllr Hayhurst says. He calls for debate on the advice before the start of the Roseacre Wood discussions.

Complaints about the sound system


Committee chair, Munsif Dad, introduces the application to frack at Roseacre Wood



Legal advice on the Preston New Road application distributed to councillors


Councillors take their seats

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