Cuadrilla announced this morning it was starting surface construction work at its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton in Lancashire.
Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes the development, said on Twitter that residents had not been informed that work had begun.
Lancashire Police has confirmed
“We have been made aware that road works will be commencing today on the A583 with temporary traffic lights near the Plumpton site”
A statement from the Cuadrilla said:
“Planning consent was granted in October 2016 and Lancashire County Council recently discharged the planning conditions and approved Cuadrilla’s associated management plans for the works.”
Two legal challenges have been submitted against the consent by the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, but no date for any hearings has been confirmed.
Cuadrilla said the Preston New Road site would take approximately three months to build and prepare before drilling can commence.
The statement added:
“These early works will include a new site entrance, access road and well pad. The top soil on the well pad will be cleared so a protective membrane can be installed to create an impermeable barrier underneath the site.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said:
“The start of work on our new shale gas exploration site is an important milestone for Lancashire, bringing new economic growth and jobs for the County. The work will be undertaken to the highest safety and environmental standards. The operations are also underpinned by comprehensive site monitoring programmes undertaken separately by ourselves, regulators and independent academics. Twelve months from now we hope this work will prove the economic viability of this indigenous shale gas resource in Lancashire which will help improve energy security for the nation.”
Preston New Road Action Group said
“Cuadrilla have permission to start work on the road outside PNR site. Obviously ignoring any legal fracking challenges they are facing”