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.
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.