Date set for reopened inquiry on Lancashire fracking site

Roseacre horse

Proposed traffic route to Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood site. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The public inquiry to decide whether to grant planning permission for fracking at a second site in Lancashire will reopen in April 2018.

Correspondence from Lancashire County Council said the inquiry on the Roseacre Wood site near Blackpool will begin on Tuesday 10 April 2018. It will be held at Blackpool Football Club and is expected to last for eight days. The inspector will be Melvyn Middleton.

The first inquiry, held in February and March 2016, followed Lancashire County Council’s refusal of planning permission for Cuadrilla’s plans to drill, frack and test up to four wells at Roseacre Wood.

The original inquiry inspector, Wendy McKay, recommended refusal of Cuadrilla’s appeal on highway safety grounds. She said the proposed Roseacre Wood fracking site would have “a serious and very significant adverse impact on the safety of people using the public highway” that could not be eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels.

But just over a year ago, on 6 October 2016, the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that he was minded to grant planning permission.

lorry on roseacre road 2

Proposed lorry route to Roseacre Wood. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Mr Javid said Cuadrilla had not submitted sufficient evidence on highway safety and traffic management. Before making a final decision, he wanted to give the company and other parties the opportunity to provide additional evidence.

The reopened inquiry will consider only new evidence on highway matters “unless there have been other clear material changes in the circumstances of this appeal”.

A pre-inquiry meeting will be held at 11am on 31 October 2017 at Blackpool Football Club, Bloomfield Road, Seasiders Way, Blackpool FY1 6JJ. This meeting is open to the public.

Anyone who wishes to make representations to the inquiry should contact The Planning Inspectorate, Major Casework, Room 3/0, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN quoting reference APP/Q2371/W/15/3134385 by 10 April 2018.


Sajid Javid’s decision notice on original public inquiry


14 replies »

  1. Far too slow and that is why the UK is going to fall on it’s **** once we leave the EU.
    Need far stronger political leaders.

  2. The Planning Inspector at the Public Inquiry which lasted six weeks, listened to evidence from all sides and personally visited the proposed site at Roseacre Wood. The route proposed by Cuadrilla was the culmination of numerous attempts and can therefore be assumed to be the best they could offer. Despite this, Mrs McKay concurred with the views of the local elected councils, County Council Highways Department, County Planning Offiers and elected County Councillors that Cuadrilla’s proposals would pose “A serious and very significant impact on the safety of people using the public highway that could not be eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels.”
    Any new route offered by Cuadrilla can only be scraping the bottom of the barrel yet Sajid Javid has thought fit, in his desperation to accommodate this industry, to ignore Mrs McKay’s decision and appoint a different Inspector because Mre McKay ” Has already made up her mind.” Presumably, the lady can’t be leaned on so Javid has appointed someone he hopes will be more amenable to exposing the public to “A serious and very significant impact on the safety of people using the public highway.”
    Cuadrilla’s lamentable record on highway safety and their ability or willingness to comply with the Traffic Management Plan set out in the Planning Conditions at their site at Preston New Road clearly demonstrates that whatever new plans they concoct for the Inquiry, in order to gain permission, will not be adhered to anyway once the HGV’s start to roll.

  3. Hopefully it won’t be long before Cuadrilla make a complete mess of PNR and their investors pull out. The Roseacre Wood application will then be confined to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

    • I think you’ll find the opposite happens and it will be TE that will have first results. No one cares about Cuadrilla they are a minnow as are the rest. You’ll need to focus your attention on Ineos and you won’t get anywhere with them, they hold a lot of political clout.

      • Are you saying our government is corrupt GBK? That they do our little fracking friends favours? It’s probably the only way this industry will get started, let’s face it, no one wants it do they?

  4. Trying to imagine what wave after wave of 60 ton lorries would do to English country lanes. Many are just layered on top of very old carriageways not built upon layers of deeply compacted hardcore.

    • These are C class roads, narrow, without foundations or proper drainage, not suitable for heavy, numerous HGV traffic movements. The visibility splays and distance from the strategic highway network is also a factor.

  5. The highway issues relating to this site are significant and if the SoS and this “inquiry” overrules the previous planning inspector’s decision there will be huge repercussions. It will mean we may as well tear up planning policy, law and guidance. And don’t forget this could have far wider implications for other development, not just fracking. This is a disgrace.

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