Anti-fracking campaigner Gayzer Frackman has won the right to pursue his legal challenge against permission for Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site.
Just before Easter, the High Court dismissed Mr Frackman’s challenge against the decision by the Communities Secretary to grant planning consent for the Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop report
Last night, Mr Frackman’s legal team confirmed that the Court of Appeal has given the go-ahead for an appeal.
This is the second challenge against the Preston New Road planning consent to go to Court of Appeal. Earlier this week, Preston New Road Action Group announced that it had also won the right to appeal against the dismissal of its challenge. DrillOrDrop report
Mr Frackman said today:
“I am grateful that the Court of Appeal recognised the importance of our appeal and the appeal by Preston New Road Action Group, which test the Government’s “drill first, ask questions later” approach to fracking.
“The Government must be held to account for failing to protect UK citizens from the health impacts of fracking and the untold damage it will cause to our environment, our climate, and those living near the site in Lancashire.”
Estelle Dehon, a member of Mr Frackman’s legal team said:
“In granting permission, the Court of Appeal said Mr Frackman’s case raises issues of ‘general public importance’.
Ms Dehon said three key issues would go before the court:
“First, whether the cumulative impacts of fracking on climate change (because of admitted greenhouse gas emissions) were properly taken into account when the government granted permission for fracking at Preston New Road.
“Second, whether the ‘extended flow testing stage’ is shale gas production in disguise and if the government properly considered the environmental impact of that stage.
“Third, should the government have adopted a precautionary approach to granting permission because of the evidence it had of the health impacts of fracking and whether the government acted rationally to rely upon other regulatory regimes when concluding that the unknown health risks of fracking could be controlled.”
Mr Frackman’s case will be defended by lawyers for the Communities’ Secretary. A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government declined to comment.
Cuadrilla issued this statement earlier in the week in response to the Preston New Road Action Group announcement:
“Cuadrilla will actively defend the appeals and is confident that the planning consents will not be overturned.”
The date and venue of the court hearing have not yet been announced.