Regulation

Live updates from Cuadrilla fracking inquiry Day 16 – Newton-with-Clifton parish council and conditions

 

 

 

 

Cllr Peter Collins

Live news as it happens at the 16th day of the inquiry at Blackpool Football Club into Cuadrilla’s fracking plans for the Fylde area of Lancashire. Check our Inquiry page for more information, posts and links.

Today Cllr Peter Clifton, for Newton-with-Clifton Parish Council, is the last witness to give evidence to the inquiry.

After his evidence, the inquiry will discuss conditions, should Cuadrilla’s appeals be successful and the schemes for Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood get the go-ahead.

Barristers for Cuadrilla (Nathalie Lieven), Lancashire County Council (Alan Evans) and representatives for Roseacre residents (Gordon Halliday) and Preston New Road Action Group (Pat Davies) will debate the conditions and discuss alternative wording.


Inquiry adjourns

6.33pm

The inquiry resumes at 9.30am on Thursday 10th March with a day of public comments

Roseacre Wood Monitoring conditions

4.17pm

Gordon Halliday, for Roseacre residents, said the Roseacre Wood monitoring scheme should fail if the exploration appeal failed.

Condition 2: Written notification

Mr Halliday proposed that Cuadrilla should be required to inform the parish councils at the point that it informed the planning authority of the monitoring work. Nathalie Lieven said this  was unreasonable because there were many parish councils involved. Mr Halliday this also applied to conditions 3 and 4.

Condition 5: wintering birds

Mr Halliday said the exclusion on work to protect wintering birds should apply to all the monitoring sites, not the eight agreed between Cuadrilla and Lancashire County Council.

Condition 7: Hours of work

Mr Halliday said the hours of work should be the same as for the exploration sites. He said there should be no work at weekends and work should start at 8am on weekdays.

Ms Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said it was important to work on Saturday mornings but she was willing to change the 7.30am start to 8am. If start times on weekdays changed, there should be a set-up hour of 7am.

Condition 16: Archaeology

Mr Halliday said seven days’ notice should be given to an archaeologist to observe work on the site.

Removed condition on permitted development rights

Mr Halliday said there were 91 different monitoring sites and permitted development rights should be removed for all of them. He said he did not have specific development rights to bring to the inquiry’s attention. Ms Lieven for Cuadrilla said this would be wrong in principle and would serve no useful purpose.


Preston New Road Monitoring conditions

3.57pm

The inspector, Wendy McKay, asked about specific conditions on the monitoring scheme at Preston New Road.

Condition 4a Access tracks

Ms McKay asked whether it was reasonable to prevent access tracks to monitoring sites without the prior written approval of the county planning authority. Her concern was that this would take the decision out of the public domain.

Lancashire County Council said a lot of the monitoring arrays were off the highway without access tracks. This condition was designed to allow the highway authority to control access.  Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said the work was sufficiently minor to be legal.

Condition 5a Footprint

This condition requires the footprint of monitoring sites to be limited to 20m x 20m. Cuadrilla agreed.

Condition 6 Timing

Lancashire County Council and Cuadrilla have agreed that work on 20 monitoring sites should be carried out only outside the period 31st October-31st March to protect wintering birds.


Revisions on exploration conditions

3.35pm

Condition 2: Cuadrilla accepts a 24-month limit on drilling

Condition 21: Cuadrilla said there was an opportunity to discharge surface water at Roseacre Wood but Ms Lieven did not know the name of the brook. This brings into line Roseacre Wood with Preston New Road.


Additional proposed conditions

3.27apm

Number of rigs on site at one time

Gordon Halliday, for Roseacre Awareness Group, said there was nothing to stop Cuadrilla having three or more rigs on site working at the same time. He calls for a condition to restrict this.

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, says “This is not necessary or reasonable”. She said it would be dealt with by the parameters plan and there would be very few occasions when two or more structures would be on the site at the same time.

Mr Halliday said “We haven’t got any guarantees of what Ms Lieven says will happen. There are no controls on that at the present time that are being proposed.”

Hedgerow removal and re-instatement

Mr Halliday said there are no controls on reinstatement of hedgerows on the HGV route. Ms Lieven said there are no proposals to remove hedgerows in Wharles and the removal of hedgerows on Roseacre Wood is covered by other conditions.

Controlling spills

Mr Halliday said RAG was surprised there were no conditions to deal with spillage. Ms Lieven said this was covered by the Waste Management Plan.


Condition 46: Aftercare

Details what is required after the site has been restored. Agreed


Conditions 43-45: Restoration

Sets out how the site will be restored. Agreed


Condition 42: Archaeology

Requires scheme for archaeological work to be approved before work starts. Agreed


Condition 41: Not used


Condition 40: Planting

Requires landscaping to be carried out in first planing season following the commencement of the development and maintained for five years. Roseacre Awareness Group to comment


Condition 39: Landscaping

3.18pm

Requires a scheme for landscaping work during the development, including details of tree planting and management. Roseacre Awareness Group to comment


Condition 38: No hedgerows removed during bird-breeding season

No discussion


Condition 37: Post operation ecological survey

No discussion


Condition 36: Ecology

Requires a method statement for the protection of wildlife during construction and operation.

Roseacre Awareness Group: Asks what data will be used to draw this up

Cuadrilla: There is data in the environmental status


Condition 35: Security fencing

No discussion on condition requiring a scheme identifying height, location and appearance of security fencing


Condition 34: height of the rig

Limits the height of the tall equipment to 36m.

Cuadrilla called for the deletion of this condition. This issue will be discussed when the different sides make their closing statements on Friday and next week.


Condition 33a: Additional condition on appearance

Controls the colour and corporate logos on fencing, cranes and the rigs.

Cuadrilla: If the rig was bought in it would have a owners’ logo on it. Requiring the removal of logos on a crane was unnecessary, given the temporary nature of the sites. Ms Lieven said if the fence was metal it would be difficult to paint. This is not a “die in the ditch” issue for Cuadrilla, Ms Lieven said. “If necessary I will come and paint over the logo.

Lancashire County Council: The main concern is about the rig. Fencing and temporary cranes could be deleted from the condition.


Condition 32: Colour of the rig

3pm

Covers the colour of the rig and other tall equipment

Roseacre Awareness Group: This equipment should be repainted to reduce the impact.

Cuadrilla: If it was a Cuadrilla rig the company would repaint the top sections. The lower sections would be obscured by the fencing. Nathalie Lieven said Cuadrilla didn’t think it was necessary but it wouldn’t take the inspector to the High Court over the issue.

Lancashire County Council: Prescribed a range of colours that would naturally blend into the background


Condition 32a: Dust management plan

2.58pm

Requires a detailed dust management plan before work began

Roseacre Awareness Group asked if air quality was included in the dust management plan. LCC said this would be covered by the Environment Agency


Conditions 31: Not used


Condition 30: Equipment maintenance

2.57pm

No discussion


Condition 29: Tones and impulse noise

Requires noise above 30 decibels shall be free from prominent tones and impulses.

Agreed by Cuadrilla and Lancashire County Council


Condition 28: Night time noise

2.50pm

Sets the noise limits and time period. The groups disagreed on limits.

Lancashire County Council: 37 decibels at night and 45 decibels at weekends

Cuadrilla: 42 decibels at night, 55 during the day

Roseacre Awareness Group and Preston New Road: 35 decibels at night


Condition 27: Noise monitoring

2.43pm

Sets the methodology for noise monitoring.

The discussion centred on whether the monitoring should be continuous. Lancashire County Council agreed monitoring should begin when noise reached a trigger level, not stated.

Roseacre Awareness Group: The trigger point should be 30 decibels.

Cuadrilla: 30 decibels is too low and not practicable.


Condition 26: Not used


Condition 25: Noise

2.40pm

This requires a noise management plan to be submitted before work can start. The plan requires tests of noise-emitting plant, mitigation of equipment not likely to be compliant and procedures for addressing complaints.

Roseacre Awareness Group: The group’s noise consultant argued for revised wording (not available)

Lancashire County Council: The council is ambivalent on changed wording

Cuadrilla: The revisions were not necessary.


Condition 24: Storage containers

2.38pm

Controls the storage of chemical, oil and fuels, requiring bunding around storage containers

Cuadrilla: This is dealt with by the Environment Agency under the oil storage and waste management regulations. “We don’t want to be subject to two regulatory processes at the same time”, Ms Lieven said. There is no planning harm that is not picked up by the EA

Lancashire County Council: This is a standard condition on mineral sites. There is a lack of clarity about whether the EA will enforce this. No one has checked what the environmental permit says.


Condition 23: Buffer zones

No discussioin


Condition 22: foul drainage

2.34pm

No discussion


Condition 21: surface water run-off

2.33pm

This requires surface water run-off should be retained on site at Roseare Wood but can be discharged to the Carr Bridge Brook at Preston New Road


Conditions 19, 20: Not used

2.32pm


Condition 18: Hours of working

2.23pm

Sets the hours of work for the sites

Cuadrilla: Proposes 8am to 1pm working hours on Saturdays. Ms Lieven said the sites should follow standard working hours. It is standard to allow construction work on a Saturday morning, she said. Hydraulic fracturing should be allowed on Saturdays but it should start at 8am. She recommended a setting up hour of 7am-8am and begin noisy work at 8am or begin all work at 7.30am. It would be wrong in principle to impose different working hours from standard construction sites.

Lancashire County Council: Proposes an 8am start (not 7.30pm) on weekdays would protect residents. The council also proposed no hydraulic fracturing at weekends. Alan Evans for the council said Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road should not be regarded as construction sites. The two sites were also quieter at the weekends.

Preston New Road Action Group: Pat Davies said the group supports the council on weekend working hours.

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday supported the council. He was concerned about lorry movements on Sundays. Mr Halliday said Roseacre was not a normal construction site so standard hours should not apply.

The inspector: Asked about the impact of reduced working hours. Nathalie Lieven said it was very important to be able to fracture on Saturday.


Conditions 15,16,17: soil treatment

2.21pm

Agreed by Cuadrilla and Lancashire County Council


Condition 13 and 14: soils and overburden

These conditions prevents the removal of soil between 1st October and 30th April without prior consent. It also requires top and sub soils to be stripped before the crossing of heavy vehicles and stored in separate mounds and.

Lancashire County Council: This requirement had been added to prevent water-logging and compaction of soils. The condition was designed to ensure the sustainable reuse of the land for agriculture.

Cuadrilla: The company opposes the condition on timing because it restricts setting up the site for six months. The soil would be stored in bunds to be reused, she said. It would not be crossed by vehicles. Cuadrilla strongly objects, Ms Lieven said.

She added that Cuadrilla had no objection to the stripping and storage condition.

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday said this was a standard condition and requested by DEFRA. It would only delay the restoration if soils had become compacted.


2: Baseline road survey


Condition 12: Baseline road survey

Requires a scheme for a survey of baseline highway conditions from the A583 to the Inskip defence site

Cuadrilla: The survey should not include pavements and footways. The inclusion of a re-survey was disproportionate and use of the route by HGVs was not intensive

Lancashire County Council: Narrow footways had been included because HGVs may cause damage. The council required a resurvey following an intensive period of use by HGVs.

Roseacre residents: Supports the council on the resurvey because the roads were not built for this type of traffic.


Condition 11: Construction method statement

2.08

No discussion


Condition 10: Traffic management plan

2.03pm

This requires Cuadrilla’s traffic management plan which covers routing and driver behaviour

Discussion centred on which version of the plan should be considered. Gordon Halliday said there was confusion about which was the most up-to-date.

Ms Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said routing was a matter for the Highway Authority. The most appropriate route had been raised by Cllr Peter Collins this morning and he had suggested alternatives. Ms Lieven said HGV drivers would be required to follow a preferred route, whether or not they were sent that way by the satnav. Ms Lieven said the HGVs would follow the route determined by the Highway Authority.

Lancashire County Council: No plans to change the preferred route.


Condition 9: Maintenance of highway

Requires the maintenance of passing places created on Dagger Road on the route to Roseacre Wood

Cuadrilla: Nathalie Lieven objected to Lancashire County Council’s proposal to survey the passing places for the road surface condition. She said the passing places would be retained at the end of the development.

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday said it was understood that the passing places would not be permanent.


Condition 8a: Agreement on Inskip route to Roseacre Wood

Requires route through the Inskip defence route during peak lorry journeys.

No disagreement


Condition 8: scheme for site access

Requires a site access works plan before the development can begin

Parties agreed


Change of reporting period from 48-24 hours

1.50pm

Condition requested by Lancashire County Council. This requires reports from Cuadrilla every 24 hours, rather than 48 hours

Lancashire County Council: Alan Evans said given the monitoring required reporting would be more useful every 24 hours.

Cuadrilla: No problem


Condition 7b: HGV cap

Requested by Cuadrilla. This prevents HGVs travelling through Wharles outside the extended flow testing phase and requires a cap on vehicles through Wharles of six two-way HGVs a week.

1.48pm

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday said the limit of HGV through Wharles should be one or two a week as set out in the traffic management plan

Lancashire County Council: Alan Evans said the council accepted the inclusion of the setting up of the extended flow test in the period covered by the condition. He said six two-way movements was too generous.


Condition 7a: Highway matters on Roseacre Wood

12.44pm and 1.30pm

This says there should no more than 50 two-way HGV movements  in total on any day for the duration of the construction, drilling, hydraulic fracturing and restoration phases of the development.

Lancashire County Council: Mr Evans said the council had adopted a proposal from Roseacre Awareness Group. He asked that there be a cross-reference to a definition on heavy goods vehicle.

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday said this met concerns of residents that the 50-vehicle cap would not apply throughout the development. He added that there needed a further modification to prevent more than 50 vehicle movements at other times. Mr Halliday said the HGV was defined as 3.5 tonnes.

Cuadrilla: Nathalie Lieven said Cuadrilla agreed in principle with the new wording. She added that the definition of HGVs were vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. Cuadrlla had been using 7.5 tonnes as the cut off. She said Cuadrilla would strongly object to 3.5 tonnes because it would change the calculation of HGV movements. Ms Lieven said vehicles over 7.5 tonnes that required an HGV licence.


Condition 7: Removing permitted development rights

12.39pm

Condition deleted. A previous version of conditions had included a condition on removing permitted development rights from Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. This would mean that anything done on the sites would require planning permission.

Cuadrilla: Nathalie Lieven said legislation was likely to go before parliament next week to allow permitted development rights for groundwater monitoring, removing the need for planning permission. Removing permitted development rights from the two sites would be contrary to policy and principle to remove permitted development rights.

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday recommended the condition be reinstated to assuage public concerns.


Condition 6: Agreed programmes

12.32pm

Requires schemes and programmes for removal of equipment and a time schedule for the extended flow test equipment. This required flow test equipment to be removed if the extended flow test were not carried out within six months of the initial flow test.

Cuadrilla: Ms Lieven said the clause setting a schedule for the extended flow test equipment was not necessary. She said the extended flow test may be delayed by interconnection with the national grid. There is no reason to require a condition on removing the flow test equipment, she said.

Lancashire County Council: The flow test equipment section was needed because tall equipment could remain on site if the flow test was delayed.

Residents: Roseace and Preston New Road supported the clause.

Condition 5: Site notice

12.31pm

This required the site office to display the decision notice

No discussion


Condition 4: Approved plans

12.19pm

Requires Cuadrilla to provide plans that must be approved by Lancashire County Council before work can start. The plans deal the location of equipment on the site and include location, surface works, parameter and sections. Agreed by Lancashire County Council and Cuadrilla.

Roseacre residents: Gordon Halliday said plans had been removed from a previous version of the condition, which included the indicative plan on layout. This reduces the controls over Cuadrilla, he said. Mr Halliday asked for the earlier version to be reinstated.

Cuadrilla: Nathalie Lieven said the parameter plan and the section plan protected landscape issues. She said:

“It is completely wrong in principle to have conditions that ties the developer to an indicative layout”

The previous condition referred to background information, she said. It was “massively imprecise” and unenforceable, she said, and could lead to contradictions.  The new version, as part of the whole conditions package, provided all the protections needed, she said.

Lancashire County Council: Alan Evans agreed with the current version. He said other conditions dealt with other issues such as noise.


Condition 3: Working programme

12.15pm

Sets out the operations  at the sites, from construction to restoration. Mostly agreed

Lancashire County Council wants to include a condition requiring Cuadrilla to remove interconnections to the gas and water grid at the end of the development. Cuadrilla opposes this condition.

The council said keeping the redundant pipe in the ground would be inappropriate. There would be no need to leave the infrastructure in the ground.

Cuadrilla Ms Lieven for Cuadrilla questioned this part of the condition and said the interconnections would not interfere with the water main.

Roseacre residents: It would give additional comfort to local residents that someone will not come back to use the site for hydrocarbon development.

Preston New Road Action Group: Supports Lancashire County Council and Roseacre Action Group


Condition 2: Timing of different operations

12 noon

Requires work to be completed within 75 months. It requires all drilling and hydraulic fracturing to be completed by 30 months from the start date of drilling the first well. Agreed by all.

The inspector, Wendy McKay, asked if the timing of individual operations could be defined.

Nathalie Lieven said “It is critical for Cuadrilla to have operational freedom”. To tie down sequencing and duration of different elements is not justified, she said.

Alan Evans said there could be a maximum period of drilling within the 30 months. But he said the council had not thought this was necessary.

Ms McKay asked why timings would affect flexibility.

Ms Lieven questioned whether the condition was necessary. She said:

“A condition that limited drilling to a total period of 24 months would not cause operation problems but I would strongly urge you to start from the other way round. Is there any lawful planning basis for imposing this condition.”

The application in the national need should be left to the operator to decide how it does that, she said.

Gordon Halliday, for Roseacre residents, said any tightening of conditions on drilling would benefit residents and would be supported. He said some of the conditions were more generalised than they had been. He said there is no reference to indicative plans.

“It seems to RAG that the movement towards operational flexiblity has gone too far and that leaves local residents with not having control over the operator of what will happen when.”

Mr Halliday said Cuadrilla had been active in the community in promoting the development. The parish council is concerned about what would happen if the sites went ahead. He said there was no condition requiring a community liaison group. Cuadrilla said it had no problem with a group, as long as it was an information group.

Pat Davies, for Preston New Road Action Group, said the appeal had follow an indicative programme. Given Cuadrilla’s history, she said: We would want to be sure that the six year proposal does not end up with another breach of conditions.

Ms Lieven said it was important that there were clear lines of communication and enforcement. That is not to cut out the local residents, she said, but we inform the county council and the county council does what it thinks is appropriate. Otherwise, there is a danger of confusion and enforcement pressures coming from all directions, she said.


Condition 1: when exploration sites must start

12.45pm

 

The developments will begin not later than three years from the date of the permission. Agreed by all.


Defence of condition on available treatment capacity

11.30am

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, said the condition did not aim to regulate offsite facilities.

She said the council had an oversight role and the information would be useful for that role. It would also be an early-warning signal to the company not abiding by other conditions, such as traffic and transport.

We are slightly hampered, Ms Dehon said, by the fact that no other council has had to deal with. She said she could not point to an example where this had been useful.

This area is one where information had not been forthcoming. The council needs information and this condition deals with this.

Residents’ reaction to condition on available treatment capacity

11.29am

Roseacre residents said they were neutral on the condition. Preston New Road said their concern was the site does not have repository for waste because there is insufficient capacity to handle. Cuadrilla said if it stored more than was allowed it would be in breach of the waste permit from the Environment Agency.


LCC reaction to condition on available treatment capacity

11.25am

Alan Evans, for Lancashire County Council, said the council was agnostic on the condition.

He said the condition would require information to be provided to the council but it was not clear what the council would do with it. If one site was full, what would the council do with the information.

This is a point-in-time condition but available capacity may change over the course of the work on the site. There was no requirement in the proposed condition to provided updated information.

The underlying issues are more substantive than can be dealt with in a condition, he said.


Cuadrilla reaction to condition on available treatment capacity

11.21am

Ms Lieven said this was not necessary. She said the waste would have to be taken to a waste treatment facility.

She suggested Friends of the Earth was mischief making.

The condition does nothing about offsite capacity, she said. If the treatment facility does not have capacity for treatment or storage it cannot take it. This condition does not nothing to regulate off-site capacity. She asked:

“Was is to be achieved? Answer nothing. What is it seeking to achieve? It is not clear.”

Ms Lieven said Friends of the Earth’s witness was concerned that Cuadrilla’s waste might squeeze out other waste users. There is nothing Lancashire can do about that, she said. There is nothing to stop Cuadrilla seeking offsite treatment capacity anywhere in the county so there is nothing Lancashire can do about that.

It has no direct relationship to the development.

New condition on available waste treatment facilities

11.16am

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, said there should be a condition that Cuadrilla must provide information that there is available waste treatment facilities before work can start.

She said the Environment Agency does not regulate the availability of waste treatment capacity.

Ms Dehon said the condition was necessary and did not duplicate the work of the Environment Agency because it did not look at this issue.

This is specifically recommended by the Task Force on Shale Gas.  Local planning policy DM2 required information on this issue and this had not been provided, she said.

Ms Dehon said the condition was based on a recommendation of the Director of Public Health but it was not really a waste issue.

Defence of reporting breaches condition

11.14am

Ms Dehon, for Friends of the Earth said breaches of permission should be reported to Lancashire County Council and this would be a legal.

Reaction to reporting breaches condition

11.10am

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said this was imprecise and unenforceable. This conditions is “completely imprecise” she said. It involves a judgement by Cuadrilla if its actions were a material breach of planning conditions. She doubted whether it was legal. It does not serve any planning purpose.

It fails on just about all levels, she said.

Alan Evans, for Lancashire County Council, said he was broadly supportive of the condition.

“I am not sure there is anything wrong in law that requires reporting of a breach”, he said.

He suggested a reporting obligation of breaches to the planning authority and then leave it to the authority to pass this on to the Director of Public Health.

Ms Lieven said HGV limits were already required to be reported.

Gordon Halliday for Roseacre Awareness Group and Treales, Roseacre and Wharles Parish Council, supported the condition.

Preston New Road Action Group said a condition was needed to reassure people that Cuadrilla was taking breaches seriously.

New condition on reporting breaches to the Public Health director

11.06

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, proposed a condition that breaches of permission should be reported to Lancashire’s Director of Public Health.

Friends of the Earth defends health condition

10.56

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, defended a condition which required a baseline and ongoing monitoring of health of people living near Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood.

She said it was a necessary condition. She said the Environment Agency does not regulate public health, as Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, had suggested.

Ms Dehon said Cuadrilla’s health witness had accepted that health effects arising from noise, traffic, lighting and potentially exacerbated by stress were relevant material planning issues.

The fact that health impacts from the development were indirect should not diminish them, Ms Dehon said.

Ms Dehon said self-selection in a health survey did not devalue it.

“To understand the public health effects of the development, two things have to happen. A baseline has to be established: to know what the health situation is at the moment; and then monitoring has to happen to see if there has been an impact from the development.”

She added: The decision-maker had to be satisfied that information, not forthcoming now, would be forthcoming by a condition so that it could properly understood and monitored.

Ms Dehon rebutted the suggestion that the condition aimed to produce an epidemiological survey. That was not the intention, she said.

She added that she was happy to accept wording such as “residents living in the vicinity” could replace a 2km radius.

Residents group’s reaction

10.54am

Gordon Halliday, for RAG, said the group supported the health condition. He recommended surveying people along the HGV route to Roseacre Wood.

Pat Davies said Preston new Road Action Group supported the condition.

Lancashire County Council reaction to health condition

10.50am

Lancashire County Council’s barrister, Alan Evans, said the council was supportive in principle for the condition. The basis of the condition comes from a recommendation from the council’s Director of Public Health.

Mr Evans added that public health was a material consideration for planning authorities.

He said permission for exporation at Preston New Road or Roseacre Wood did not have to be refused if the condition was not included.

Cuadrilla reaction to health condition

10.45am

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said the company opposed Friends of the Earth’s health condition. She said it was not necessary or relevant.

She said any potential health risk was entirely dealt with by the Environment Agency. Any direct impact should be left to the EA, she said

The “amorphous” issue of stress anxiety will cover a huge range of health condition which could not possibly be related to activity carried out by Cuadrilla, she said.

2km would cover over a thousand people. The number of properties affected by sleep disturbance would be a handful of properties.

It is plainly wholly disproportionate.

She added it would not be useful.

What is it going to show. It would rely on la completely self-selected survey group. They may have conditions that have nothing to do with Cuadrilla’s proposals.

“It will not produce any useful information”

If it was not self-selected there would be massive confidentiality issues, she added.

“It is not necessary to make the development acceptable because true public health issues are dealt with by the regulatory regime. It will not produce information relevant to the development.”

Ms Lieven added there is no precedent for any planning condition for any scheme such as this.

New condition on health baseline and monitoring

10.32am

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, proposed a condition on health. This requires schemes for a baseline survey of health conditions and ongoing monitoring should be approved and funded in advance of work starting.

She said this was to address public concern and anxiety and to meet recommendation of Lancashire’s Director of Public Health.

Ms Dehon said Dr David McCoy had given evidence that there would be health effects from exploration for residents living within 2km of the site. These health effects were related to stress and anxiety.

She said the condition was necessary and without it permission should be refused. The impact on public is a planning matter. It does not seek a direct contribution. She said the condition was reasonable, clear and enforceable. It would be understandable to the council’s Director of Public Health.

Ms Dehon said health conditions was be defined as physical, emotional and physiological wellbeing. It could also monitor people living nearby for sleep and blood pressure. She said she was not aware of how many people would be affected (living within 2km) but she said the Director of Public Health may be aware of it.

Ongoing monitoring is possible through survey and regular testing of people living closest to the site. This would be carried out by an independent person or group of people.

Ms Dehon said Lancashire County Council is concerned about funding of monitoring conditions. She said this condition requires funding to be addressed as part of the scheme.

Agreement and disagreement on conditions

10.31am

Friends of the Earth have submitted extra conditions on waste and health

Conditions on Habitat Regulations

10.30

Ms Lieven said these had been dealt with.

Section 106 agreements

10.27am

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said two Section 106 agreements for Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood had been signed between the company and Lancashire County Council.

Other parties asked for details of the agreements.

Ms Lieven said this covered the appointment of dust and noise consultants to monitor the sites, should the appeals be allowed.

Conditions

10.25am

The inquiry now moves onto the conditions should the appeals be allowed.

Wendy McKay said the parties in the appeal had been asked about their preferred conditions.

It is not to be taken that I will be recommending the appeals should be allowed. It is an entirely without prejudice discussion.

Questions from the inspector

10.14am

The inspector, Wendy McKay, asked Cllr Collins if there was an alternative route.

Cllr Collins said there were disadvantages with all the possible routes.

He said he had lived in Clifton all his life. He said he was “astounded” to hear coming through the village was the preferred route. He would not have used that route to the journey.

“You are going so far away from where you set off to get to the strategic road network, it is ridiculous. It is just astounding.”

Ms McKay asked Cllr Collins if he had any experience of HGV traffic from the Westinghouse nuclear site. Cllr Collins said the HGVs abided by the speed limit and got onto the strategic road network at Kirkham.

Cllr Collins said Cuadrilla’s transport assessment had assumed the HGVs on the route were all going to Westinghouse. It has been a bit misleading, he said.

Traffic Management Plan Ms McKay asked why Cllr Collins thought the traffic management plan would not control the route to and from Roseacre Wood. Cllr Collins said lorry drivers follow the most direct route regardless of the traffic management plan.

“They would be conscious of how much fuel they had and their tacograph. It is ridiculous to send them round the Fylde countryside. Once they had cleared Roseacre Wood there would be no one to control what they did. Once they got that far away from the site who is going to police them.”

Cllr Collins said 16.5m HGVs should be getting on to the motorway network much more quickly rather than going through Clifton and Preston.

No cross-examination

10.13am

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, chose not to cross-examine Cllr Collins

“Totally unsuitable” route

10.08am

Cllr Peter Collins gives evidence on Cuadrilla’s traffic route to Roseacre Wood.

He said the route, which uses the A583, has ignored people living on the road and vulnerable road users.

He said the Cuadrilla’s route to the strategic road network was not the shortest or most direct.

He said the HGVs needed to travel down narrow roads, with difficult junctions on unclassified roads. He said the route to the M55 was not logical or direct.

The route through Clifton is not the second shortest but it is by the longest, he said. There has been not been a thorough transport assessment, he added.

“A totally unsuitable route has been chosen, based on incorrect information.” It is in conflict with local planning policy, he said.

“Cuadrilla has no plan. The appeal should be dismissed.”

Evidence on lorry route from Roseacre Wood

10.02

Cllr Collins tells the inquiry:

The National Planning Policy Framework (para 32) requires the application to be supported by a Transport Assessment due to the increase in HGV traffic to and from Roseacre Wood. The NPPF Planning Practice Guidance “Travel Plans, Transport Assessments and Statements in Decision Taking” (48.3 para 004) states that they should be thorough assessments of the transport implications of development.

Mr Collins said :

The “directness” principle states that, “As far as is safe and practicable, the route should provide a short and direct access to the Strategic Road Network.”

The A583 does not form part of the Strategic Road Network. Route 3A therefore does not provide short and direct access to the Strategic Road Network, and in fact does not provide any access at all to the Strategic Road Network.

From Clifton, the nearest access to the Strategic Road Network is Junction 3 of the M55 which is 9.2km to the North West of Clifton.

Any route to the Strategic Road Network via Clifton would therefore be significantly longer and more circuitous than Routes 1,2 and 4.

Route 3A utilises 8.8km of unclassified roads between Roseacre Wood and the A583 at Clifton, far more than Routes 1,2 and 4, to take HGV traffic further away from the Strategic Road Network than what it was when it left Roseacre Wood.

Less than half of a route to the Strategic Road Network has been assessed against the selection principles in the assessment of Route 3A.

The M6 is located to the east of Preston, and if HGV traffic were directed through Clifton, a large proportion of it would travel to and from the M6 via Preston and not the M55 if, as Route 3A, the preferred route ended at Clifton.

The full route to the strategic road network via Clifton should be assessed against the selection principles before a preferred route is chosen.

The appellants preferred route(s) between Roseacre Wood and the Strategic Road Network have not been fully assessed against the selection principles. Newton with Clifton Parish Council request that the appeal be dismissed.

Inquiry opens

10am

This report is part of DrillOrDrop’s  Rig Watch project.  Rig Watch receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. More details here

16 replies »

  1. So, Friends of the Earth want there to be a health survey do they? Possibly because they want people to complain about ‘stress’, CAUSED BY FRIENDS OF THE EARTH!! They constantly go on about toxic and carcinogenic chemicals when these are not permitted. All expert bodies are happy with the science.

    It seems that even Medact have drawn back from their scaremongering about toxic chemicals, and stated ‘These health effects were related to stress and anxiety.’

    OK there will be a few trucks for a few months and a tiny bit of noise. Try complaining about that in 99% of the rest of the country.

  2. Can’t believe the habitat conditions were thrown away so cavalierly, but then a shame RSPB aren’t coming out to put their case more publicly. Saying they would become apologists for frackers, denies a truer position perhaps not yet declared, yet privately held. I am very disappointed. In Scotland RSPB are working far harder to voice opposition to drill related and fracking related issues, than in England.

    Meanwhile it always amazes me that Cuadrilla have the complete gall to come out with statements trivialising the needs of people, when only a ‘few ‘ of them will be affected:-
    ‘2km would cover over a thousand people. The number of properties affected by sleep disturbance would be a handful of properties.’

    The fact Nathalie acknowledges people’s sleep will be affected, then defends this heinous assault on them by saying how unimportant they are, as their number is only a few, doesn’t bode well for the millions of wildlife they will also be killing off but have no vote, no voice and no say in the matter!
    Cuadrilla by name; Cuadkilla by nature.

  3. A good and killer point, mag. If Cuadrilla’s QC has admitted ANY sleep disturbance this shows Cuadrilla and their highly-paid QC has accepted the noise expert evidence and admitted neighbours WILL be affected. This totally undermines Cuadrillla’s argument against refusal on noise grounds.

    .

    • The Rspb has no case. There are no significant impacts of the two exploration sites on birds or any other wildlife. They are anti carbon. They support most wind farms and only object to smaller, faster spinning, bird and bat choppers if they are within 50m of a hedge or trees. Even though they are there for 20 years. The inquiry has pretty much concluded that there are three issues, stress, noise and traffic. The inspector has had to listen to a lot of irrelevant (from a planning point) emotional stuff plus the FOE climate change no carbon at any cost spiel. She will assess the appeals based on planning law. Stress is unlikely to play a role, it doesn’t usually in wind farm appeals. Aquifer pollution, poisoned water and death by cracking fluid do not appear to be issues. Radioactive water is also blown out of all proportion. If the appeals are refused life goes on, if they are upheld will we see mass migration? I doubt it. Perhaps Mar g will go to new Zealand?

  4. On the basis of the above 2 comments. nothing would ever be built anywhere. No schools, buildings, bypasses, railways, factories, bridges. Nothing at all. Everything has an impact, and we benefit from those.

    • Most infra-stucture takes only a few months of noise and disturbance, fracking will deliver much longer interference with community life, especially in an unusually quiet rural area, where people have chosen to live for health and safety reasons. Notwithstanding this, as Gordon Smith points out, why haven’t the frackers chosen brownfield or some other industrialised area to frack, why are they deliberately choosing a greenfield site to desecrate and irreversibly pollute?

      In fact why are all fracking licences being handed out for rural regions where pristine land lies, that should sustain that condition for generations to come, when so much fracking could be done on brownfield sites and industrial areas? This flies in the face of ‘more jobs” if that was the case then why place job opps in regions that are far away from those frackers propose to employ from? The whole foundation upon which Cuadkilla base their appallingly ill thought through industrial roll out is full of contradictions and irrationale betokening a duplicity surely even Tony Bliar wishes he was the author of.

  5. Piracy of pristine land and subjugation of rules protecting environmental safety and preserving pristine land should never be be mistaken for geology…….that is the domain of spin doctoring, lies and duplicitousness, or ignorance.

    However, the ”controlling spills”’ issue is an interesting throwaway at the inquiry, along with the transport problem.

    EA regulations for waste disposal have happily been rewritten in Disneyland. There are now clauses in each of the several pages of the new EA guidelines which give clear instructions on how spills are to be regulated for, either they are handed over to insurers, or the company cannot be held accountable in case of flood or other natural disaster, or in case of accidents.Thus the EA abnegates any responsibility for policing, monitoring or enforcing the worst regulatory framework on the planet it seeks to destroy. These clauses are ‘get out of jail free’ cards that licence industry with a free pass to pollution

    This gives frackers clear track of guidance for avoiding liability simultaneously introducing insurance as governance tool, and allows commerce to give insurance premium hikes as subsidy for badly planned highly hazardous industrial activity or lack of due diligence, as with flood defences.

    Here’s an example of how that works. Thames Water consistently pollute the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, Hertfordshire. Highly hazardous waste they allowed to enter the river contained aluminium and iron. The one million pound they got fined was peanuts in terms of what it would cost to process this highly hazardous waste, so they keep on ”disposing” of highly hazardous waste this way, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill for excess. Probably the same happened with the Ineos contract with Peel owners of Manchester Ship canal. Peel profits from tax subsidies as well as from canal users such as with contractees Ineos. Ineos is insured and profitable, until oil price slumps. It is more profitable to violate regulations, than pay a fine for violating regulations, and once insurers can be made to pay for ”accidental ” spillages, industrial rape, pillage and spillage of extremely hazardous materials, then ”accidental spillage” becomes the best way to get rid of toxic time bombs. I believe Ineos has now two ”accidental spillages” on Manchester Canal, that we know of! I doubt farmers or landowners along the canal whose land will be polluted as result fo the spills, are being infromed of them, and at some stage in the future when they do notice does anyone expect the culprit behind loss of landowner will be around, or likely to pay for the pollution?

    Is it mere coincidence that Peel now have overseen more than one spillage of oil into the canal it is supposed to be managing? Peel also had a pollution problem at Liverpool docks where they also have infrastructure rights.

    I suppose many pro frackers imagine this doesn’t impact upon them? It does factor into your insurance premiums and don’t forget your tax is handed over with breathless profligacy to subsidise these companies, which is why the NHS cannot continue.. This year household insurance has a new ”tax” to pay for the floods earlier this year, as the government demands you pay extra VAT on your bill, taking your VAT to 10%. By the time industry profits from carelessness and self regulations that do little to stop them polluting all over the country, your premiums could rise to 30% at this rate in the next thirty years.

    If you don’t care about the environment I expect you do care about who gets your money. Take a closer look at your insurance premiums, for insurance is now the new ”public service sector” you don’t vote for and is not publically accountable.

    As for Leeds having waste disposal capability. Currently this is farmed out to a site in Bradley, Huddersfield where open wells scar the landscape for eternity, leaving any residual toxic fumes open to emit across the region, adding to air pollution. The waste disposal site, once owned by Syngenta of Monsanto GM fame, much loved by Killary Benn, got handed over to another company circa 2011.Happily while they took over all obligations, it is doubtful they could get sued if any lack of these by Syngenta come to light in the years ahead.

    Meanwhile the 2016 Leeds development plan consultation told how they needed to allocate new land for waste disposal but wouldn’t say where this would be, nor did it talk of hazardous or toxic waste other than referring to Bradley plant.
    There are mass campaigns across the streets near the airport, new rail and canal infrastructure already overused with air emissions violating EU regulations regularly in Leeds. Green belt is being sacrificed upon the altar of industrial greed.

    Nathalie’s appalling statements that planning has nothing to do with waste disposal is breathtakingly arrogant and conceited. People in Leeds are coming out in their thousands to complain and protest at the amount of lack of amenity and poor planning which impedes their everyday life, health welfare and safety. Another tranche of daily HGV’s carrying toxic waste from Lancashire to Leeds, is unacceptable.

  6. Ma G – Geology dictates licence areas; geology also dictates well locations. The EA Regs may well have been written in Disneyland but the appeals will be decided based on current planning law. FYI we do have something in common, I agree that the EA is not fit for purpose (nor is Natural England, and the RSPB is a joke – look at grouse shooting and Hen Harriers for example). But I also detest Greenpeace and FOE who are scaremongers and have hidden agendas. Successive governments have weakened the statutory bodies whereby they are no longer fit for purpose. I have been arguing with, and fighting the EA on various issues for many years but they are spineless. And they waste incredible amounts of money on ridiculous projects via third parties such as Rivers Trusts. No doubt many of your concerns are valid but my point has always been that the appeals will be decided based on Planning Law, not what may or may not have happened in the US, Leeds, The Manchester Ship Canal, the Grand Union Canal, the North Sea or anywhere else. Also I would be interested to learn how my taxes subsidise Ineos and Cuadrilla? Climate change is causing increased flooding, along with deforestation and building housing on flood plains. We have to adapt to changing climate just like we did when we came out of caves 12,500 years ago after a very significant temperature rise at the end of the last mini Ice Age several deg C in 50 years according to ice core data.

    • The other issue that dictates where sites go (in addition to geology) is whether farmers/landowners are willing to take the fracking companies 30 pieces of silver.

    • At the NYCC the EA told of how many millions had been given up by the treasury to aid the roll out of fracking. The Chair asked how their share of the money had been spent in North Yorks and was given the reply that Kevin Killingrake had spent it on education talks around the north Yorks region. These were actually Grimm’s fairy tales dressed up to show how life would be wonderful all the time on the fracking farm….

      Meanwhile other regions got the rest of the millions, you would have to go read the account of NYCC meeting 22nd Feb to get the accurate figure.

      i could troll out lots more, such as the fact my land rights have been sacrificed upon the altar of fracking subsidy, due to new trespass laws saying any ole fracker can trample all over it, and doesn’t have to inform me of his muddy footprints damaging my garden. I could also add to the list the fact the EA has worked flat out to produce amazing flow charts showing the process of regs for frackers, all maid for our of taxpayer money…

      Manchester Ship canal is a public resource, paid for by the public purse, but manged for profit by Peel….aka our tax subsidises their business, same for Liverpool Port they own, same the big canal front shopping centre they now run, and same Newcastle port they are working towards dominating

      The gov loves folk like you who fail to keep up with where taxes go and find it hard to learn the distinction between a ”privatised” company delivering public services, and a bog standard pre 1990 public service run centrally by gov, which gets our taxes plus profits, and do you think academies are not getting any of our taxes then? Bet you think dentists and doctors don’t get any tax money either then eh?

      Have you never heard of Pearsons, Keir, Peel and other con gloms, you really need to google a bit more…………

      Hey guess why your public water supply is being sold off to commerce and frackers? Because although we pay water rates, water ”companies” now have to be profitable aka 2013 Water Act, and sell off unused water abstraction licences to make a fast buck, thus subjugating them to the needs and demands of industry to make more money. That’s why reservoirs are over abstracted and the surrounding environment is badly damaged as a result.

      The use of insurers as tool for governance is the subject of sundry papers in the US, and is already being trialled over here. The fact flood defences weren’t put up in flood zones is because there is a gov initiative which is about making those living in flood zones pay hikes in premium, and the rest of us subsidise flood damage costs of insurers with VAT at 2016 rate 10%

      Here’s how it works:
      Imp oil company pay insurers for ”accidental spillage” and pay EA (now have to be profitable) for licence to deal with oil transport. Canalbloke gets money from Imp to transport oil, gets subsidy from gov to run port and canal, and from the other contracts it ”sells” to canal users, and all of a sudden an ”accidental spillage” occurs, This means they don’t get a fine from EA for ”accidental spillage” they get paid out by insurers who have to pay for canal clean up. Insurance premiums go up so everyone pays for the pollution. Which part of that do you find hard to understand? Nifty then having all fracking in flood zones where ”accidental spillages” can roll out un-fined and unheeded by the EA who know the insurer the local council and the poor landowner will have to pay for clean up costs? This is how it works in the US.

      I could go on but the academics might be a little too much for you to take on board at the moment.

      However, I did write earlier on Dordrop, about Goldman Sachs comprehensive hedge fund ”book” on how to exploit the water energy nexus to full advantage and turn water into the new gold. I even have a copy of it, and it is amazing watching it all unroll over here…….

  7. Oh Paul in case you didn’t know the VAT hike goes straight into the treasury so Dave can send it to ”third world countries’ to help them stay green…..also to chivvy favours for when Dave leaves number ten so he can get a job on the Blair trail to millions….although I do credit Cameron with more integrity and less need to ”beg” for post number ten favours than Blair.

    • Unfortunately you are reverting to form. I would be interested to learn how my taxes subsidise Ineos and Cuadrilla? Not Academies, the EA, Peel etc. Surprisingly current time flood plains do not dictate where shale is present at the right depth and thickness to hold exploitable shale gas. The last time I looked my water company (UU) was a company listed on the stock exchange with share holders and is in business to make a profit and pay dividends to share holders. They paid dividends prior to 2013. The issue really is should water have been privatised? Most of the tax I pay goes to pensions and benefits. Check the figures.

      Why not go into politics and change some of the many things you don’t like about the UK? I have tried this at a local level and gave up. But at least I have tried.

      I have also fought Peel and we managed to get them down from 3 turbines at Heysham Port to one – mainly thanks to EDF objecting.

      If you are right regarding insurers then why not invest in them?

      • Unfortunately you are reverting to form. end quote

        Comments such as this Paul are why I wont be replying to any further responses from you. You really need to address why it is you mistake insulting others for reasoned argument and debate.

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