Opponents of fracking in Lancashire have again called for a moratorium – this time after heavy rain flooded land in areas earmarked for shale gas exploration.
They say photographs show standing water at a potential fracking site and the lorry route to another was under water in places.
Preston New Road
Campaigners against Cuadrilla’s proposed site at Preston New Road said it drains towards the Carr Bridge Brook, which flooded during the recent storms.
Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s technical director, told The Blackpool Gazette today:
“A thorough Flood Risk Assessment was completed by independent, expert consultants for both sites and it concluded that the proposed works would not increase flood risk either on or offsite.”
He also told the paper:
“We can confirm that neither of our proposed exploration sites in Lancashire were flooded during the recent bad weather”.
But Claire Stephenson, of Preston New Road Action Group, said:
“Our photos show standing water on the the Preston New Road site.”
“There are houses and a smallholding right next to Carr Bridge Brook, both of which are currently flooded.”
“The sloping field from Wensley’s fracking site land has flooded Carr Bridge Brook and submerged Emma Bird’s land and outbuildings”.
Campaigners also said the lorry route to Cuadrilla’s other proposed site at Roseacre Wood was flooded near the Inskip communications centre.
Barbara Martin, spokeswoman for Roseacre Action Group, said any accidents or spillages at Roseacre Wood could result in the release of contaminated water into surrounding fields and water courses during floods. She said:
“Niggett and Thistleton Brook run alongside the Roseacre site, which is classed as a mains river. This is connected directly to the River Wyre and Morecambe Bay.”
The area around another Cuadrilla at Preese Hall, where the company carried out the UK’s first and only high volume hydraulic fractures, was also under water during the heavy rains.
A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said:
“A moratorium on fracking is essential to allow us to evaluate yet another critically-important aspect of this risky industry.”