Regulation

Borough councillors vote unanimously against Cuadrilla’s revised fracking plans

180118 FBC meeting RAG

Fylde Borough Council meeting discussing Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood traffic plans, 18 January 2018. Photo: Roseacre Awareness Group

Fylde Borough councillors voted unanimously yesterday against Cuadrilla’s updated transport plans for its Roseacre Wood fracking site near Blackpool.

The Conservative-led authority is a consultee not a decision-maker on the plans, which are to be decided after a public inquiry in April 2018.

But the council is now considering submitting written concerns to the inquiry and sending a representative to speak.

Yesterday’s vote follows a recommendation earlier this week by Lancashire County Council planners to object to the new traffic plans (DrillOrDrop report). The county’s development control committee votes on Wednesday 24 January 2018.

“Highway safety not adequately addressed”

A report to yesterday’s meeting by Fylde council’s head of planning concluded:

“Matters of highway safety have not been adequately addressed”.

It said Cuadrilla’s proposal to add two more routes of heavy goods vehicles were “not appropriate as an alternative or additional access” to the Roseacre Wood site. The report said the routes were along narrow country roads with tight bends and restricted visibility.

The planning officer also recommended seeking the views of Highways England about an increase in traffic at the A585 Thistleton Junction that would result from Cuadrilla’s plans.

15 members of the public made presentations to the council on issues including unsuitable rural lanes, poor road conditions, traffic breaches at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, and the likely impact on pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

“Totally vindicated”

180118 FBC meeting RAG2

Fylde Borough Council meeting discussing Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood traffic plans, 18 January 2018. Photo: Roseacre Awareness Group

One of the speakers, Barbara Richardson, chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, said:

“Today’s meeting could not have gone better for us. We feel totally vindicated. For four years we have been saying that this site is unsuitable for a development of this nature with all the associated traffic including teh largest of all HGVs.

“Regardless of your views on fracking this has come down to one issue; that of traffic and public safety.

“This is about the unsuitable nature of our rural roads to accommodate the traffic associated with this industry.”

Mrs Richardson said thanked the councillors for listening to public concerns:

“Having carefully considered all aspects of Cuadrilla’s traffic mitigation proposals for Roseacre Wood they were unanimous in their decision that all the proposed routes into the Roseacre site are unsuitable, unsafe and that the mitigation measures do not resolve many issues. Indeed they raise more issues and will affect many more communities.”

“We hope that Lancashire County Council will also take these concerns seriously and follow the recommendation of their own Highways and Planning experts and reject the plans as unsafe and unsuitable.”

Company statement

Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, has defended the company’s revised traffic plans:

“Our expert transport consultants have concluded, and will demonstrate at the Public Inquiry in April, that the proposed routes can adequately and safely accommodate the level of traffic proposed in our application along with the existing car and lorry traffic they already safely handle.”

 

 

11 replies »

    • The industry has to obtain new sites and drill continually. That is how the model works.

      The English countryside will not be able to accommodate that model because there will not be enough accessible sites. Road issues will limit the spread that the industry needs to survive.

      This is a problem which will surface regularly and be a major stumbling block which in many cases will be impossible to overcome even with mitigation measures.

  1. But Francis, once again you just refer to lorry traffic, not 44 ton articulated juggernaut that the country roads and lanes just cannot cope with, your so called traffic experts have scammed you again, they are no better than Arup!

  2. The trucking issue was one of the more predictable stumbling blocks. Vera’s camera tells the truth – and she says they’re small roads! (maybe for the USA). You won’t get Big Macks down English lanes without ruining them, meaning that for well sites here there would have to be many more trucks to achieve the same amount of haulage.

  3. I’m pro-fracking and think much of the anti-frackers tactics and misinformation is utterly deplorable and disgusting.

    This is exactly what it should and must be though. When planning officers find a problem with an application and recommend it to be rejected I have no issue with it being turned down.

    The biggest issues with shale gas, if it turns out to be economic, will the be the common issues (with any large development) of traffic and noise.

    Site selection is everything, as is coordinated planning. Bad site selection helps no-one.

    • The most sensible thing I have heard a pro-fracker say, ever 😉 Chapeau Garry. Only problem is sensible/sensitive site selection will narrow down available development sites significantly and as a result affect economic viability.

  4. I’m anti-fracking and think much of the frackers tactics twin tracking, change of planning consent conditions are utterly deplorable and disgusting.

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