Cuadrilla fracking inquiry: what happens now?

Inquiry docs

With the end of the Cuadrilla fracking inquiry yesterday, attention now turns to the report of the inspector, Wendy McKay.

She heard evidence from 26 expert witnesses and 143 members of the public during the 19 days of hearings. She also visited the sites at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood and the areas around them.

A spokesperson for the Planning Inspectorate said this afternoon Ms McKay would make an announcement within the next fortnight of when she expects to complete her report.

“An announcement is usually made 10-14 days from the end of the enquiry”, the spokesperson said. A note is expected to be posted on the programme officer’s web site. Link here

Ms McKay’s recommendations will go to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark. He has chosen to use the appeals recovery procedure in this case to make the final decision.

The Department for Communities and Local Government will indicate when Mr Clark will make his decision.

The Planning Inspectorate spokesperson said Ms McKay’s recommendation would not be published until the final decision is announced.

There is no statutory time limit for either the inspector’s report or the Secretary of State’s decision.

Asked about the possible timeframe, the spokesperson said: “I would not even hazard a guess”.


The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed hat the recommendation of Ms McKay had been delivered to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by the deadline of on 4 July 2016. The Inspectorate also said it expected the final decision by the Secretary of State would be announced on or before Thursday 6 October 2016.

Background and links to the inquiry

DrillOrDrop posts on the inquiry sessions

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



6 replies »

  1. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before we hear the Secretary of State’s final decision. Will the date be influenced by the forthcoming referendum, I wonder?

  2. I’ll lay odds that the decison was made even before the Inquiry commenced:
    1). LCC decision on Roseacre will be upheld
    2). LCC decision on Preston New Road will be over-turned
    The five-week charade at Blackpool FC is nothing more that a smoke-screen of pretence.

    • Ian, I agree with your prediction, but I guess it is best not to speculate too much, as there is so much at stake here.

      What I will be appalled about, if it is true what you say; that it was so unethically and immorally an absolute waste of money, time and ‘sturm und drang.’ And this in a climate of austerity and discontent too.

    • I agree that the inquiry was a charade Ian and that Cuadrilla will be given ‘licence’ but I’m interested why you think Roseacre will be spared?
      I have no doubt that the government wish to launch fracking in the UK whatever the environmental, safety and ecological concerns and in my view only the current fracturing of the tory party can halt their dash for gas.
      The best tactic in my opinion then is to frack the tory party on every issue possible.

  3. The decision might be nicely timed to bear upon (!) NYCC’s decision. This, coupled with Cuadrilla’s threat to sue Lancashire Council for costs should Cuadrilla win the appeal, might even be thought by some to be an attempt to influence NYCC, who will need the courage of Ryedale District Council’s Planners if they are to adequately represent the reasoned findings of their electorate.

  4. Fingers crossed he doesn’t listen to the left wing element in this country who make up the minority despite it appearing to be the majority. The intelligent capitalist centre right will prevail again. There is a reason that you never have a left winger in charge of business. Don’t worry we will take care of you yet again whilst allowing you to have your rants on social media. And I won’t even bother trying to explain any of my comments, tried many times before but because you can’t argue properly you resort to violence.

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