A Lancashire residents’ group is to fight on in with its legal challenge to permission for fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool.
Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) announced this afternoon it had won the right to put its arguments before a judge at the court of appeal.
Just before Easter, a High Court judge dismissed the group’s statutory challenge to the decision by the Secretary of State to approve Cuadrilla’s plans. Details
But the group appealed against this decision. Today PNRAG said the court of appeal had agreed there was validity to the arguments and the case should go ahead.
The decision is the latest in a now long-running planning dispute, which began nearly two years ago in June 2015, when Lancashire County Council refused permission for the Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton.
Cuadrilla appealed against that decision and after a planning inquiry, the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, overturned the county council’s refusal.
A spokesperson for Preston New Road Action group said:
“We have put forward credible evidence through our legal team indicating why we believe that decision is unlawful and should be overturned.
“It is important to remember that local democracy has been dismantled and denied in Lancashire to allow Cuadrilla and this fossil fuel industry to press ahead.
“Lancashire said no loudly and clearly yet locals are being forced to accept the unacceptable from this external corporate industry.
“It is for that reason, we will continue through this appeal and due process to resist, and seek true justice in line with the planning decisions made through Lancashire County Council to reject Cuadrilla’s planning application to frack at Preston New Road.
“Preston New Road Action Group hopes that this appeal will finally recognise the will and voice of local democracy, and ensure that this application is revoked and the work at Preston New Road terminated.”
There are no details yet about the date and location of the hearing.
DrillOrDrop invited the Department of Communities and Local Government to comment on the latest development but it declined.
A spokesperson for Cuadrilla said:
“Cuadrilla will actively defend the appeals and is confident that the planning consents will not be overturned.”
Cuadrilla began work at the Preston New Road site in January 2017. Last week, it installed a conductor rig which is used to install the first casing of the well. A drilling rig is expected to be delivered and begin work this month. Details
Opponents of activities at the site have demonstrated at the entrance and the headquarters of Cuadrilla’s suppliers.
- This afternoon, Crown Oil, an oil company based in Bury, said it would no longer supply fuel to a contractor working at the Preston New Road site. More details.