Breaking: Anti-fracking campaigners lose legal challenge over Cuadrilla’s Lancs shale gas site

PNR 170407 FrackFreeCreators - Knitting Nannas Lancashire1

A community group and an anti-fracking campaigner have lost their legal challenge against the Communities’ Secretary over the way he granted permission for fracking at a site in Lancashire.

Sir Ian Dove, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning dismissed the case by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackmanng.

This clears the way for Cuadrilla to drill, frack and test up to four wells at its Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton near Blackpool.

It is the final stage in the company’s planning battle, which began in June 2015, when Lancashire County Council refused permission for the site because of its impact on noise and visual amenity.

The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, granted planning consent in October last year, following the recommendation off the inspector at a 19-day public inquiry.

Preston New Road Action Group challenged the decision, saying Mr Javid had misunderstood or misapplied local and national planning policy in approving the fracking scheme.

Campaigner, Gayzer Frackman, from Lytham, argued that the minister’s decision failed to consider climate change and gaps in regulations to protect public health.

Cuadrilla began site work at Preston New Road on 5 January 2017 and is expected to begin drilling during the three months between April and June 2017.

Another Cuadrilla site, at Roseacre Wood, was also refused permission by the council and is the subject of a separate legal challenge. Mr Javid said he was minded to grant approval for this site, despite the planning inspector’s recommendation to refuse because of its impact on highway safety.

The minister said he would reopen the public inquiry to give Cuadrilla another chance to explain how it could resolve traffic problems. That decision has been challenged by Roseacre resident, Jules Burton. A court hearing is expected in the summer.

More details and reaction to the ruling soon on DrillOrDrop

DrillOrDrop reports from the court hearings

Report from morning session, Day 1: Cuadrilla’s Lancs shale gas exploration plans were “production in disguise” – High Court told

Report from afternoon session, Day 1: Shale gas regulation is not “up to scratch” and Cuadrilla fracking permission should not have been granted 

Report from Day 2: Government lawyers defend decision to give planning consent to Cuadrilla fracking plans

34 replies »

  1. This was to be expected folks, sad but there it is apparently conservative party politics no longer recognise democracy anyway, hardly surprising the result is the same amongst the cabal

  2. Fantastic News ! Let’s get Fracking ASAP all over UK ! Remember to turn your GAS OFF if you not agree!

      • “…Or get free electricity courtesy of the sun, wind and sea.”

        Get real. “free” – I am all for it. But how do I get it? The “sea” elevtrcity is the most expensive yet, probably in the world – check out the CFDs and you will see how “free” it all is.

    • Malcolm – There is no need to give up gas immediately just because UK fracking is a bad idea. Surely you know that don’t you?

  3. With no support from our two local Tory m.p.s, Mark Menzies of Fylde and Nigel Evans of Ribble Valley, who are both vulnerable characters owned by the Tory Whip, our normal channels of democratic protest have been compromised from the start!
    WE SAID NO and we continue to SAY NO!

  4. Whatever happened to democracy in this country. A government that ignores the electorate and puts health at risk for profit should not be allowed to continue in office.

  5. It will be a desperate struggle to get a perch on the roofs of the animal farm chicken coupes this morning for the frackadoodledoo chorus?
    We are all equal under law, but of course with loads of money being waved around, some are more equal than others. No change there.
    So now we know where we stand, it was never going to be easy, but now we know what avenues are closed off from us and what to do about it.

  6. This was a LEGAL hearing. Nothing to do with the government, other than it concluded the government decision was correct under the law.

    I will not dwell on this except to say the “as expected” comments just re-inforce that it was well known that there was not a legal case but it was still pursued, merely to re-inforce a persecution argument. What a waste of time and money to achieve a legal precedent.

    Wonder where the AJL share price will be going, refracktion?

    • Martin – it was a Conservative Government conspiracy to trash the North of England (if you believe the antis). That’s why the locals elected Conservative MPs in the area? Or is it most voters are either pro fracking or have more important issues to worry about? Lets see what happens in the Lancashire County Council elections in May. There are plenty of Green Party candidates.

    • Oh it will be going up a bit Martin, but it couldn’t have gone down much further could it?

      There’s many a potential slip to keep the investors nervous before the are able to profit from “the biggest gas field in Western Europe”. Not least Cuadrilla’s track record so far 😂

    • This was a legal hearing. It was just the points of planning law, not whether fracking is a good thing or not. It’s the GOVERNMENT who have made the planning laws and these have been relaxed, concocted and manipulated to favour shale and fracking. Planning laws were even changed in the time between LCC refusing permission and the Public Inquiry. Amber Rudd’s Ministerial Statement came after LCC’s decision and was calculated to make it more difficult to refuse an application in future. Even though this Ministerial Statement did not even exist at the time of LCC’s decision the Ministerial Statement was given great weight at the Public Inquiry. It’s simple really. The oil and gas industry lobby and fund the government. The government then changes the laws to suit the oil and gas industry. Nothing to do with democracy or justice.

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.