Second legal challenge over Lancs fracking site goes to Court of Appeal

Gayzer Frackman1

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.

7 replies »

  1. Ah our Hungarian friend returns once again.
    Doesn’t matter though as it’s not preventing development at the site and appeal Judge won’t disagree with HC Judge based on their arguments.
    It’s only costing them more money.

  2. Even as someone who supports industry, I can’t help but feel sorry for this guy. Hopefully he isn’t using his own money, but has found some suckers to back him. It is clearly a waste of the court’s resources and legal resources to go forward with these challenges, but they make the anti-frackers feel good and we know that they could use some victories. This seems like a harmless way to achieve that end.

  3. Well no doubt you will be opening your doors to fracking companies to develop your space, not that you have much choice if you didn’t want them to,because they will anyway, according to Ineos!!

  4. Ms Calder will be laughing her socks off!

    We have over a period of a couple of days seen the argument turn from Krakatoa in Lancashire to uneconomic, yet the antis show to the general public their own “experts” don’t even convince themselves, so they have to have another desperate go at stopping PNR-WHICH WOULD STOP IF EITHER OF THE FIRST TWO ARGUMENTS WERE CORRECT. I can assure the antis it is not just those in favour noting this.

    General Custer saying at the last stand, “come on guys, we might as well fire the last bullets, because we are fracked!?”

    (LM-I already have to “open my doors” to building companies to develop my space. I suspect most of the public know what can be imposed upon them, so a pretty weak argument, other than to those who don’t. Remember Greenham Common?)

  5. [Edited by moderator] It not just about the Plaintiff and New Preston Road it’s about Home Rule and Local Control of what happens in people’s back yards and indeed the planet. Too bad so few see it for what it is.


  6. [Edited by moderator] I am sure you have full knowledge of the situation in your “back-yard” but try and examine how planning controls apply in the UK. There is no such thing as local UDI in the UK. We have a planning system that applies to all development, and fracking is only part of that. It is not up to the locals to control what happens in their back yards (beyond fairly small elements), unless they change the democratic balance and that takes decades. Meanwhile, we have the current legislation and you may see it as a load of rubbish but that is what we have.
    We see it for what it is, not what you would wish it to be.

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