66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes – new survey

Local concern

Two-thirds of people surveyed in Lancashire opposed fracking within five miles of their home, according to a new poll published today.

The survey, by YouGov for Friends of the Earth, also found that

  • 66% were concerned about the impact of fracking on Lancashire’s natural environment
  • 54% said they thought fracking was unsafe

The findings, released two years after Lancashire County Council opposed Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at two sites in the Fylde, suggest there is solid support for local decision making.

According to the survey, almost three-quarters (73%) thought Lancashire County Council should have the final say on whether fracking should go ahead.

Two-thirds of participants opposed proposals in the Conservative manifesto to allow non-fracking drilling to occur without planning permission.

Detailed results

Environmental concern

How safe

Final say

Conservative manifesto

Call for ban on fracking

Friends of the Earth called on the government

  • Immediately ban all fracking
  • Drop plans to remove local planning control on shale gas proposals
  • Invest in renewable energy

Friends of the Earth North West campaigner Helen Rimmer, said:

“Lancashire residents already know that fracking is unwanted, not just here but anywhere in the country where fracking is proposed. But the extent to which this industry has failed to win over the public is undeniable.

“There is overwhelming opposition to fracking from Sussex to Lancashire. The list of countries banning fracking grows all the time, why should Lancashire just roll over and accept it?

“Instead of imposing an industry on communities, the government must let localism happen and prioritise clean, renewable energy that would cut climate emissions and at the same time create tens of thousands of new jobs”.

Survey details

1,148 adults in Lancashire took part in the survey, carried out online, from 26 May-6th June 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representative of adults in Lancashire.

20 replies »

    • I don’t want a fracking site next to my home either, but one exists and I can tell you that we don’t notice it.

      No one would wish to have a drill pad near their home. No one wants a highway near their home. No one wants train tracks near their home, or power plants, or heavy manufacturing operations, water treatment plants, or high voltage electric lines. But guess what? Yeah, you got it. Society isn’t going to function too well without these things if everyone says that they cannot exist.

      This is why some projects are pursued for the national interest. That’s one of the jobs of democracy – putting the interests of the whole first, trying to maximize the “greater good.”

      So, this is straw man argument to say that people don’t want fracking operations near their homes. We shouldn’t expect them to. We know for a fact that people DO want all of the good things that come from domestic gas – from reduced co2 emissions, to plentiful and inexpensive fuel sources, to inexpensive electricity and heating, jobs, wealth, and a more independent energy policy.

      • Fibonacci, Quite! i rather think you have nailed it there.there is a word for this of course and that is Nimbyism, it sounds pejorative, but is quite rational really!
        I might add if the information provided by the Anti brigade is biased unfairly (here I mean using data that is not reasonable for comparison to help proove a point that is not actually proved) then the attitude of the locals will be tarnished by this (mis) information.
        One clear example of this is Mike Hill (a mover and shaker) suggested the tap water was about to be contaminated by fracking, but the tap water comes from resevoir to tap, fracking has no effect, his promise to drink only bottled water is therefore clearly a scaremongering untruth.

  1. Anti fracking survey funded by FoE……By the antis standard and logics this would be the equivalent of a pro fracking survey funded by the industry.

      • Unfortunately all industries funded independent survey done before have been claimed by the antis as biased by the industry interests.

        • Unfortunately all protector funded independent surveys done before have been claimed by the anti anti’s as biased by the anti interests, as you so well demonstrate..

    • Yougov are independent and a reputable company, irrespective of who funds the survey they have to abide by their professional charter and standards. And it was Yougov that proved to be one of the most accurate of survey companies with regard to the general election result.

  2. Despite this, Egan et al will still maintain that fracking is “Opposed only by a small minority of the population. The majority are in favour of Cuadrilla’s operations”
    I bet his teachers believed him when he said the dog ate his homework as well!! 😂

  3. Well, back in the real world!

    Locally a supermarket announced they were seeking to build. Immediately, close to 100% of local inhabitants objected. When the plans were submitted they included a fully funded doctors surgery with extensive parking. The existing surgery was over-crowded and could not be expanded further and blocked up about two thirds of the available parking, so shopping was a nightmare. Within a short space of time the plans were supported by the majority, although local shop owners continued to fight against. The plans were passed.

    The moral? If no local benefit can be established, people will object to most development. As, and when it can, the situation changes dramatically.

    FOE, and others, want to prevent reaching that stage, and understandably so. Just because the “demon” that is fracking is part of the equation, it doesn’t change the equation.
    Maybe Cuadrilla will not be wise to that. Time will tell. But if they are not, others will be. There are examples of good practice in this respect, so it is quite straight forward to follow (one company contributed £2m only yesterday to fund local community projects.)

  4. So – YouGov fields a FOE survey. It’s the silly season, NGO’s commonly do this to create “news”, This keeps their media profile & campaign message going and their funding stream via donations. They run a campaigning business. I wish they would put their money where their mouth is and put their effort/resources into developing the renewable technologies we all need. Instead. of putting out deliberatley misleading adverts – such as pictures of Grassmere alleged by them to be threatened by fracking, etc..YouGov surevy members are iself selected as they have to registered to take part in YouGov surveys. The survey is representative only of o a cohort in that self selected online group.What about all the other people who are online, but have not registered with YouGov., What about a significant number who never go online at all? Also the framing of the question – using a 5 mile radius, compromises the survey as it immediately suggests danger over a wide area (otherwise why 5miles?). Perhaps You Gov should do a survey asking their survey registrants which technology do they think kills more people per kilowatt of electricity generated – renewables or nuclear?

    • I think you are grasping at straws. Perhaps the five mile radius was selected for specific and legitimate reasons rather than the non evidenced claims you make. I remember many survey companies making exactly the same claims during the general election about Yougovs techniques and yet they proved accurate and the others wrong. So perhaps you should ask questions rather than making non evidenced and misleading statements and I suspect you will be proved wrong on all counts.

      • KatT – what was their evidence for choosing a 5 mile radius. Did they do a control with another energy technology also with a 5 mile radius? The questions on the summary above are negative, fearful ones. The framing is fear and that provides the result which FOE wanted. You ask me for evidence – it is intrinsic in the survey and its questions and the self selecting group which YouGov harvests opinion.

  5. 66% !!! Is that all ? So if you put this to a national figure it would fall to less than 1% once take the NIMBY factor out.

    • I have yet to see one robust, independent survey that favours fracking. Perhaps it is not wise to throw stones in a glass house?

  6. “All out petrol price war” from a popular chip wrapper.

    And that is in spite of a much weakened pound! If the oil price continues to weaken (likely), and Sterling strengthens against the dollar (unlikely) petrol could be down towards £/litre. Unless Lancashire is a great deal more wealthy than I remember it, this will become the biggest influencer upon public opinion. Some may want to disagree, which is their choice, but I used to do this for a living, and I could not make too many wrong calls. Squeezes upon disposable income and increases in household debt will only magnify the impact of such financial benefits, so it will be in the interest of several parties to publicise.

  7. “66% of Lancashire residents oppose fracking near their homes – new survey” So they asked all Lancashire residents? Unbelievable!

  8. Nothing wrong with us up here – but the survey was Lancashire not Duchy of Lancaster? I didn’t get asked?

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