Two of the country’s environmental campaign organisations are rallying support for Lancashire County Councillors who voted to refuse Cuadrilla’s application to frack at Preston New Road.
A vote on Wednesday by the council’s development control committee to refuse the plans was tied seven-all until the chairman used his casting vote. Discussion on the application was then adjourned and resumes on Monday at 10am to decide the application.
Friends of the Earth says the decision is on a knife edge. Greenpeace says it is too close to call and is urging supporters to give it everything they have.
On Wednesday, council officers said there were no planning reasons to refuse the Preston New Road application. They warned members of the committee if they turned it down Cuadrilla could appeal and, if it won, costs could be awarded against the council. One councillor has said the committee has come under intense pressure to approve the application.
The committee voted unanimously to refuse Cuadrilla’s other application for Roseacre Wood on Thursday.
This evening, Greenpeace launched what it calls an urgent petition calling on councillors who voted against fracking to “stay strong and to use their influence to talk others round”.
Greenpeace campaigner, Richard Casson, said: “With a final decision set to be made on Monday, this is as urgent as it gets”.
“If Cuadrilla wins in Lancashire it could pave the way for communities across the country to be opened up to a reckless dash for gas”, he said.
Friends of the Earth is urging its supporters to attend a rally outside the council offices at County Hall in Preston early on Monday. If they can’t attend it is suggesting they watch the event online.