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.