Cuadrilla asks court to outlaw access at Lancashire fracking site



Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site. Photo: Frack Free Creators Knitting Nanas Lanashire

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, is going to court on Monday to try to renew an injunction at its Preston New Road fracking site at Little Plumpton, near Blackpool.

A hearing before a High Court judge in Manchester seeks to prevent access to the site, where work began in January in advance of drilling and fracking.

Yesterday, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, criticised on-going anti-fracking protests outside the Preston New Road site. Quoted in The Guardian, he said: “I think it is irresponsible because people have a right to go about their day to day work. Your right to protest shouldn’t be allowed to supersede some business’s right to do business with us.”

Notices about the injunction were posted at the site yesterday. The claimants named on the notice include two Cuadrilla companies and 10 owners of the land. The defendants are named as “persons unknown”, “persons entering or remaining on land at Little Plumpton & at Roseacre” and Tina Rothery.


Ms Rothery, a leading anti-fracking campaigner, was named on the previous injunction, granted in 2014, for the Preston New Road site and another proposed fracking site at Roseacre Wood.

She became involved in a long-running legal dispute with Cuadrilla over costs after she asked for an adjournment to a court hearing considering that injunction.

She was ordered to pay costs of more than £55,000. When she refused to provide her financial details to the court she was found in contempt and ordered to spend two weeks in jail. The case ended in December 2016 when a judge at Preston Combined Court discharged the contempt of court and said Ms Rothery would not be sent to jail. Details

Ms Rothery said this morning:

“I am aware of the legal process that is happening. I disagree that it should be done in my name”.

“Increasing opposition”

Claire Stephenson, of Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes Cuadrilla’s operation, said:

“It seems odd that a company who hold no social license, yet are forcing their way into a community in the face of ongoing legal action, are seeking another land injunction.

“Once again, they have named local resident Tina Rothery as a defendant, even after their disastrous bullying attempts to vilify her last time were thrown out of court by a judge. Is Cuadrilla becoming uneasy regarding their mounting delays and increasing opposition they face?”

Cuadrilla has told DrillOrDrop that its operation remained on schedule.

Restore previous injunction

Cuadrilla said the application was to restore the previous injunction on Preston New Road, which expired last year.

The legal action follows a decision by a small number of people to enter the field surrounding the shale gas site after an anti-fracking rally last Saturday (25 February 2017).

The company’s spokesperson said:

“In 2014 local farmers and Cuadrilla were granted an injunction against trespass on farmland at and surrounding Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road.

“This injunction expired in October 2016. Following the events of Saturday 25th February when a so-called peaceful protest resulted in further trespass on local farmland and destruction of some property we and local farmers have applied for a renewal of the former injunction.

“This is in order to protect local farmer’s land and livelihoods and our operational site at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton.”

Earlier this week, Lancashire Police corrected a statement that about 150 people had attempted to break into the site after a national day of action at Maple Farm nearby. A revised statement said the number was “a handful of people” (Details).

Asked what damage had been done, Cuadrilla’s spokesperson said it was “mainly to fencing”. Some anti-fracking campaigners said a section of heras-type fencing had been knocked over and there had been a gap in the hedge around the site.

Cuadrilla’s spokesperson said the application to be made on Monday was similar to that made in 2014 but she added:

“We have stated that Roseacre Wood does not need to be included at this time.”

The Roseacre Wood site, a few miles from Preston New Road, does not have planning permission for shale gas drilling or fracking.

The company’s spokesperson added:

“When applying for the current injunction, which is a renewal of the 2014 injunction, the correct process is to ask the Court to “restore” the original claim and make the application under that claim number.  Because it is the original claim that is being restored, all parties must remain the same.”

  • The hearing is at 11.30am on Monday at the High Court in Manchester at the Civil and Family Justice Centre, 1 Bridge Street West, Manchester M60 9DJ





24 replies »

  1. Destruction of property? What destruction? Cuadrilla are now stooping [edited by moderator] to justify their imposition of a destructive process on an unwilling community.

  2. Many many false claims by Cuadrilla in this article. They have no social license.
    The people and local councils of Lancashire voted against fracking, and it was unanimous Nobody wants this destructive company in their town or Lancashire or anywhere else. You only have to visit the site to hear the passing cars honking their disapproval at this abomination, which will leave a trail of destruction in its wake.
    The persecution of Tina Rothery by Cuadrilla is nothing short of disgusting. We are all Tina Rothery. How dare they single out one individual, when thousands are fervently against this industry. Cuadrilla are the criminals here, a dirty industry, using dirty tactics.

  3. So Cuadrilla have no interest in local & pubil opinion ?
    That’s no surprise as their consultation was both pathetic and corrupt

    • Corrupt because their sole
      ‘Independent Ecological/environmental consultant is owned by them

  4. Let’s just clear up the misleading journalism that sometimes makes it look as if Tina was somehow victorious in her previous court appearance.

    Having wasted considerable tax payers money by not abiding to a courts instruction to provide her financial details she then faced jail time.

    Cuadrilla took this lady to court on behalf of the landowner. They paid for their court fees and didnt cost the tax payer a penny.

    The ONLY reason Tina didn’t go to jail is because she rocked up with a piece of paper which said she is skint……surprise surprise. So the judge was able to clear her of contempt and probably took pity on her and told her to scamper.

    Tina appeared hanging off the side of a truck the following day.

    I have told you that acting in this way is unacceptable in the 21st century and our kindness will run thin. Needless to say you didn’t listen and we are having to put you back in line.

    I know many of you will detest my tone of language but I’m genuinely annoyed the genuine peaceful protestors will soon not have a voice. The more you let the anarchists take over the more you’ll be shut down.

    • We have a voice and we don’t need to hide behind anonymous accounts, and yes we do detest your tone and language .Your bitter and twisted account of events is quite shameful.

      Cuadrilla miscalculated very badly over their attack on Tina. Sadly they don’t appear to have learned their lesson. How did Einstein define insanity? Ah yes – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

      [Moderator “toe” changed to “tone” in first sentence]

    • “I have told you that acting in this way is unacceptable in the 21st century and our kindness will run thin. Needless to say you didn’t listen and we are having to put you back in line”
      Wooohooo! What an ego! Do you have delusions of mortality at all? Perhaps oh great one you should change your name to
      “Detest the language?” Far from it!
      I haven’t laughed so much since the Clintons got run outa Dodgey City!
      Think you just blew it UGottaB, I just gotta post this around!

    • “Tina appeared hanging off the side of a truck the following day”. The incident regarding the truck was not the following day, but around 3 weeks later, only 3 days after Cuadrilla began work at Preston New Road. The reason for her hanging off the side of a truck was because a few minutes previously, that same truck had attempted to enter the site, not only in the wrong direction from that laid down in the planning conditions for traffic safety, but also was reversing into the site, again against the safety conditions. The site fencing was closed, preventing the truck from entering but despite the police shouting and banging on the cab window the driver deliberately carried on reversing, trapping people between the fencing and truck. A protector jumped on the ladder in an attempt to stop the driver who even then tried at first to,shake her off by juddering the truck. I was one of those trapped by this crazy driver so I think I know more about this than GottaBKidding. Following this disgraceful display of road rage the truck company, Ashcrofts have not returned to the site. The driver has no doubt cost his company a lucrative contract.


  5. “When applying for the current injunction, which is a renewal of the 2014 injunction, the correct process is to ask the Court to “restore” the original claim and make the application under that claim number. ”

    Of course, but they could have asked for a new injunction without harassing Ms Rothery couldn’t they?

    A company that spent £15,000 on 2 PR companies inserting legal notices re the last injunction can hardly claim they are doing it this way to save money can they?

  6. What a lot of fuss about nothing!

    Cuadrilla will be expecting to have the legal hurdles cleared later this month, and that will enable them to accelerate work on site.

    The Trojan Horse was put out last weekend, and it was dragged away. (There must be a whole stable full of them by now!)

    So, Cuadrilla have the high ground and can easily suggest they relied upon the goodwill of the protestors and it was not forthcoming. With site activity likely to increase they can even show that there is a safety issue for their own contractors, as well as any who trespass.

    If this is a surprise to anyone, I would be shocked. Equally, it may set a pattern for other sites.

    See my feet have become your toe, refracktion! It must be all this limb-ering up for the real event.

    Have a good weekend.

    • Sorry I may have missed a whole episode of GameOfGroans, but wasn’t the point of the Trojan Horse that the really dumb thing was to drag it into the gates in the first place? Doesn’t throwing out the empty trojan horse afterwards kinda miss the point somewhat?
      You had better do a head count, there may be 150 Tina Nanas inside the razor wire? Or was it just 5 Tina Nanas? Any new staff called Achilles on the roster? Better ask the police for a recount! Oh, on second thoughts, better not?

  7. Cuadrilla have the high ground ? Not if you look at the water on their site Martin. They could probably do with another 20 feet 😉

    • Predictably the parafrackers are coming out with the false choice argument that rather than fracking the Amazon we should frack the Fylde. Fortunately none of us here would be stupid enough not to spot the logical fallacy there, so we can all move on.

        • My bad – replace “fracking the Amazon” with “drilling the Amazon” – my point still stands Paul.

          • On a global scale (climate, indigenous people etc) the Amazon is more important than the Fylde? The lungs of our planet… Assuming equal destruction etc….

  8. Cannot believe Trustees of a children’s charity, 3 of them, are taking legal action against members of the Community who are voluntarily protecting the local countryside, water and air against enforced toxicity, all in the name of Corporate greed!
    They really need to take a look inside their consciences, if they have any!

  9. Trustees own land. Rigby’s adjacent land and likely sites for next drilling pads. Please keep up will you, you are minnows in the pond with Lancashire’s big fishes.

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