With the decision on Cuadrilla’s shale gas plans in Lancashire just days away, villagers gathered on Saturday to show their opposition to the proposed fracking site at Roseacre Wood.
A group of people walked six miles along part of the route earmarked by Cuadrilla for heavy goods vehicles. The opponents said their aim was to show that the country lanes between Roseacre and Clifton made the route unsuitable.
The decision on Roseacre Wood and Cuadrilla’s other proposed site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, must be announced by Thursday 6 October.
An inquiry which considered Cuadrilla’s appeal against refusal of planning permission ended six months ago on March 16 2016. The inquiry inspector submitted her recommendation to the government by 4 July.
The final decision will be made by the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid.
Roy Harrison, from Wharles, one of the organisers of Saturday’s walk, said “it was a fantastic show of solidarity. The majority of residents are strongly opposed to the plans.”
“We object to having 24×7 drilling and all the noise and traffic it entails in such a tranquil and beautiful place. Large HGV’s trundling up and down our narrow lanes will pose a very real danger not only to motor vehicles but more so to many cyclists, walkers and horse riders who use the area for pleasure.”
“Not only does fracking pose unacceptable risks to our health and environment it will affect local businesses. This is a prosperous agricultural area with many camping and caravan sites, farm shops, b&b’s, tea rooms and cafes. Having a large industrial site of this nature in our midst is totally out of place in such a rural setting”.
Barbara Richardson, of Roseacre Awareness Group, which has been fighting the plans since 2014, said:
“We want people to understand we are just concerned residents, not nimbys or scaremongers or easily influenced by others, as the proponents of the industry make out.
“Fracking, if it goes ahead, will affect many more communities right across the Fylde as many wellpads would be required. This needs stopping now before any damage is done”.
During the inquiry, Cuadrilla argued that although the percentage increase in traffic on the Roseacre route would be large the overall numbers were small. The company said the peaks of 50 daily HGV movements were predicted to happen on 12 weeks across the six years of the project. Cuadrilla has proposed to create five passing places on one section of the route and it said it would run education days for HGV drivers.
- On Friday, Bromsgrove and Redditch Against Fracking met Mr Javid, their local MP, to discuss the impacts of shale gas extraction in Lancashire. The Bromsgrove Standard reported the group was calling on the government to respect Lancashire County Council’s decision and reject Cuadrilla’s appeal.