Breaking: Judge allows legal challenge to Cuadrilla monitoring scheme decision

In the past few minutes a judge in the High Court has given permission for a judicial review of the planning permission granted to Cuadrilla for a monitoring array at Roseacre Wood in Lancashire.

A written application for judicial review had been refused. But at a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London Mrs Justice Lang gave permission for the legal challenge.

The judicial review was sought by Elizabeth Warner and the Roseacre Awareness Group. They argued that the decision-making process at Lancashire County Council’s development control committee in June had been flawed. They said the committee had been misdirected at times by officers and that some advice in the officers’ report had been erroneous.

Cuadrilla applied for the monitoring array as part of its plans to frack up to four wells at Roseacre Wood in the Fylde. The application to frack was refused and Cuadrilla is appealing against that refusal. A similar monitoring scheme at Preston New Road was turned down by councillors after they also refused permission for fracking at the site.

After the hearing, Mrs Warner said: “I’m delighted, obviously. There are clear grounds for a judicial review and they spoke for themselves.”

“It shines a light into the whole process. This is a landmark moment. Far too much has been advanced too easily in the past. There are powerful alliances working together and some of the safeguards have been eroded.”

“Clearly there was hope in some parts that this was done and dusted but the reality was never that. From the outset we were confident that the grounds would be successful.”

“This is an important principle.  It does show that given due process this juggernaut can be halted.”

The judicial review is scheduled to last a day and both Mrs Warner and Lancashire County Council asked for the hearing to be in London because an early date was more likely.

Full report coming soon.

2 replies »

  1. Nice to know the last vestiges of democracy are being fought for by those who have consistently been bludgeoned into bowing down to a few profiteering lobbyists acting with and on behalf of gas shareholders in parliament.

    Even better as Rudd is complaining about the length of time councils are taking over planning decisions, when the government needs to spend more time itself on laws which are half baked and ill thought through nowadays.

    Due diligence at local planning levels should be respected and upheld by the government, and subverting it to the demands of profiteers needs for speedy half baked planning scrutiny, is unacceptable in a democracy.

  2. My fear after spending time with the EA bloke over past three weeks trying to find out who at my local council is monitoring landfill and hazardous waste sites, is that as soon as the loophole is found to wor in favor of democracy, the government will pass a law changing it so locals have no ruddy say.

    Similarly the EA bloke tells me a local council official was monitoring the site under investigation, but now with a a patronising reply telling me he can’t indulge in debates…..his version of the truth as a means of justifying slow responses and lack of intention of answering my questions. He tells me the law has changed since 2006 and the EA is responsible for landfill of any kind and he hasn’t a clue who at the local council was monitoring local landfill —–nor does he care it would seem….however…….I have now asked him for the name of his line manager and the name of the dept that WILL answer my questions if he doesn’t want to [be bothered]

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