Judge grants temporary injunction against protests at Lancashire fracking site

1806 green party week

Green Party protest outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. Photo: The Green Party

Cuadrilla has secured a 40-day injunction against protests at its fracking site near Blackpool.

A judge at the High Court in Manchester allowed an application by the shale gas company to prohibit trespass and obstruction at and near the site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

His Honour Judge Pelling QC also approved the company’s request for an order preventing unlawful interference with contractors and suppliers.

The injunction is now in force and will last until a two-day hearing due to end on 11 July 2018. This will examine Cuadrilla’s application in more detail.

It covers the Preston New Road site and a section of the A583 from 50 metres east of the site entrance to the junction with Peel Hill (near the M55 junction 4).

It also applies to the site entrance, known as the bellmouth, which is regularly used for rallies and speeches by campaign groups, trades unions and politicians.

The order additionally covers the premises of 19 named companies. These include the equipment supplier P R Marriott Drilling, the haulier Grampian Continental, Peter Marquis Contractors, Lytham Skip Hire, Standard Fuel Oil Ltd and Greens Environmental Ltd, as well as 11 companies in the Cuadrilla group.

180406 Funeral Friday Refracktion 1

Funeral Friday protest outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 6 April 2018. Photo: Refracktion

The order specifically prohibits a range of anti-fracking protest techniques including:

  • Blocking the site entrance
  • Slow walking
  • Lock-ons
  • Climbing on to vehicles

People who breach the order could be found to be in contempt of court and may be at risk of a prison sentence, fine or seizure of assets.

Cuadrilla told the court yesterday that it faced an “imminent threat” from a planned blockade of the Preston New Road site at the end of June, promoted by the national campaign group, Reclaim the Power. DrillOrDrop report

A group of four anti-fracking campaigners sought to challenge the injunction, which was originally against persons unknown.

Yesterday, they questioned whether the evidence provided by Cuadrilla justified the injunction. They argued that the company’s proposed order would be an abuse of human rights and that the injunction should not have been brought against “persons unknown”.

But Judge Pelling rejected their challenge. He said Cuadrilla had provided evidence that there was likely to be “a significant increase” in protest activity. The company had referred to an escalation in direct action at Preston New Road and supply companies during last July’s Rolling Resistance campaign supported by Reclaim the Power.

Judge Pelling said:

“That conduct has involved in the past, and is likely to involve in the future, behaviour including locking on to gates, obstructing entrances, slow walking and interfering with vehicles travelling to Preston New Road.”

He said there had been “substantial interference” to people using the A583. Referring to comments from the local chamber of commerce, he added:

“That activity has in the past resulted in damage to local businesses.”

He said he was satisfied that Cuadrilla’s case had passed a test in the Human Rights Act. This restricts granting of this type of interim injunction unless it was likely to succeed at trial.

But the judge required the company to change some wording of the injunction order. This would, he said, focus the injunction on specific unlawful activities.

He also said the order should apply to actions against the supply chain only if it could be proved beyond reasonable doubt that they were intended to cause delay or inconvenience to Cuadrilla.

180321 PNR Emma Thompson Refracktion14

Emma Thompson at a Women in White protest at Preston New Road, 21 March 2018. Photo: Refracktion

A weekly Women in White procession and gathering at the site entrance on Wednesday was excluded from the injunction.

After the hearing, Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive, Francis Egan, said in a statement:

“We are pleased that the High Court has seen fit to grant this interim injunction which provides further reassurance to our employees, contractors, and suppliers and the general public using the Preston New Road that they can go about their lawful business without intimidation and illegal unlawful blockades from activists.

“This injunction does not restrict lawful and peaceful protest but is an important deterrence against unlawful protest which we have witnessed to an extraordinarily degree high level at Preston New Road.

“Those activists that continue to contemplate persist in unlawful activity against us or our suppliers should strongly consider the serious penalties that a breach of this injunctions could bring.”

Ian Crane, the only one of the four challengers to the injunction in court today, said:

“This injunction hearing was primarily brought about as a direct result of pronouncements of intended actions. Whether deliberately or inadvertently, these pronouncements effectively gifted the unconventional gas industry the opportunity to seek a far-reaching and chilling injunction.

“While I would be the first to applaud direct actions and recognise the sacrifice of those who participate in direct action, I believe the key element is spontaneity and surprise. Sadly, pronouncements of intended action is regarded as an imminent threat and it is very difficult to challenge the industry’s request for an injunction.”

Mr Crane described the anti-fracking movement as “nothing if not creative”. He added:

“Anyone who participates in any of the proscribed activities must be aware that their assets and potentially their liberty are put at risk.”

A spokesperson for Reclaim the Power declined to comment.

The injunction application will be reconsidered at what is known as a return hearing on 10-11 July 2018 at Manchester Civil Justice Centre, Bridge Street, Manchester M60 9DJ.


The interim injunction order and other papers in the case will be available on Cuadrilla’s Dropbox page:

Green and Black Cross has a downloadable guide to injunctions:

Reporting from this court case was made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers

106 replies »

  1. Well, John, Southampton is not too seismic yet, although some swear on a Saturday morning the earth trembled for them the night before, but I think that is connected to payday.

    Not convinced though it was a good idea to plonk Ikea on top of the site. Produce a bit of shaking and self assembly will move seismically to the impossible. The supporters at St.Marys might be forgiven for thinking it is the reason behind so many chances being created, and so few that go into the net. (That is not a random comment, the stats are there.)

    Mind you, in sleepy old Hampshire they are a bit weird. Little problem with plastic (except littering). Bottles recycled, the rest incinerated producing enough energy for 54k homes. Saves filling up the last of the gravel pits, that can then be turned into lakes.

    Little problem with trade via the docks either which is nearly all under WTO regulations and is slick, automated and does not create any noticeable congestion.

    No wonder Jim has taken up residence in the county. Shame the Transit site that the EU decided to help move to Turkey, is partially redeveloped otherwise it would have been a perfect site for his vehicle manufacture-skilled employees, a stone’s throw from the UKs major vehicle export facility, next door to a rapidly expanding airport with good connections to the Amsterdam hub and somewhere close by for his boat. Plus an oil refinery and chemicals plant, if he wanted a little diversion.

    Well, I think the joints have recovered a bit. Back to the gardening.

  2. Well, well, well. Society has ruled against the anti-frackers once again. Society doesn’t want your “protection” because it is actually damaging to society. Society has clearly and specifically asked that the onshore shale gas opportunity be explored in the UK. Is it any surprise to you that society has now ruled that your lawbreaking and rights-violating ways are, in fact, against the law? Your unfounded scare stories, your bullying ways, and your moralistic evangelizing are earning you a reputation as a rag-tag group which operates at the very furthest fringes of society. This ruling is simply further confirmation of this fact.

    • Wrong again!
      Courts of Law are not society and never have been, their original purpose was to disseminate regal decree, later they were modified to decide landowner and nobility disputes on civil law matters from the Magna Carta onwards.
      There has never been a social law court, though common law is the basis of civil matters, the are many forms of law, none of those relate to civil adjudication of society, and hence has never been protected except by civil unrest and protest over such matters as slavery and women’s rights to vote.
      Law courts are that of the law society regulating and modifying arbitrary law that is a historical legacy of the previous incarnations of legal status, much of that is still anomalous.
      Law courts operate by precedent and established legal principles of court protocol originally set up to manage the Royal Court procedures and decrees. These are now operated in dispute and adjudication.
      Not society, society is separate from the law society and only derives some of it’s mores from civil rights actions in the past.
      So sorry you are wrong, in fact you are not even close, society modifies law in order to manifest the legal right to operate social change in an evolving social system, due to inequalities and the wrongs social interaction and human rights violations being brought to legal adjudication, not the other way around, though it should be reciprocal.
      I am sure that corporate attempts at anti human rights injunctions will fail and fall away as did the slavery and women’s rights successes modified law in the past to the betterment of all.

          • Read this and tell me where it says that courts of law have any social function?



            Courts of law only apply to disputes that involve harm and compensation, usually in monetary terms.

            Courts of law do not have a societal function in any other capacity than adjudication of disputes, it is actually quite rare for societal considerations to even remotely considered in courts of law, and that may be only to protect innocence in terms of age or secrecy of identity.

            Where such cases do arise they are usually moved to the High Courts and those are then only to decide if there has been harm or an infringement of legal rights or human rights or failure to recognise existing rights.

            Such as slavery where both were considered, and only then if harm is proved are moves made to change or modify the laws of the country and that may take many years and is certainly not assured.

            Society is not addressed by courts of law, courts of law will happily continue when gross failures of human and civil rights are taking place, until that is, such failures are taken to court.

            Courts of law are addressed by society only when in dispute, be that local or national, they have no societal function unless they are sought to address a societal situation that can be decided on harm and compensation that requires a change to the laws of the land, such as slavery and women’s rights to vote and more recently, human rights.

            Sorry, you are wrong, courts of law are not societal courts and never have been.

  3. You wanted my opinion, Jack?

    Absolute twaddle! Social licence? You do realise that two thirds of those recently questioned on the subject were not against fracking in the UK? Only one third against, so how come no social licence? Sort out your maths. (And that is BEFORE any serious local payments are made.)

    Not only twaddle but the sort of incitement that will mean the hearing in July will have proof that the injunction needs to be extended. Well done, Jack. Yourself, and a few others, with your posts, are giving the Cuadrilla legal team a pretty easy ride.

    I hope I am cheering up a few antis, because your activities must push them towards reaching for the anti-depressants.


      We have been through this MANY times before …..

      I’m sorry you are having difficulties understanding basic maths , although to be honest , between me and you, I think you are just knowingly and deliberately trying to distort the truth .

      ” Serious local payments ” are you talking about the amazing £ 150.00 cash offer to 95% of the PNR residents ????

      Once again Martin, here are the government’s own figures .

      16% …… fracking

      32% …….oppose fracking

      The rest do not have an opinion , because they do not know enough about it …

      Here now is the result of a survey from Lancashire .

      ONLY 21% support fracking

      66 % ……. OPPOSE Fracking

      14 % ……. Don’t know

      TWO THIRDS …… of Lancashire Residents Oppose Fracking near their Homes

      You have very strange thought patterns Martin , what part of the bold type words , LEGALLY WITHIN THE LAW don’t you understand ????

      What I have said is just an opinion as well you know , PLEASE EXPLAIN IN DETAIL what parts of my above statement pose a real and imminent danger to the safety and well being of workers within the fracking industry and what parts of my statement incite any types vandalism to a fracking companies infrastructure ????

      WELL ????

      • Jack, martin is just trying to wind you up and is using a threat of legal action against you.

        No one is inciting anything here, opposition is opposition, not action, political parties oppose each other, i oppose violence and law breaking, war and hatred, poisoning and fracking, its not rocket science,

        That does not mean i or anyone else is inciting anything and nor are you, he is just trying to get you on the defensive, its standard dispute management procedure, its transparent and ineffective once you know it is being used, ignore it.

        In fact by martins definition, a wrong one incidentally, his own words are provocation and hence are an incitement, its all falsity and smoke screens, ignore it.

        Don’t fall for it, its just more hooks and barbs, martins one speciality it seems? And not a very clever one either?

        • PS you wont get a straight answer anyway, that’s not in their script, it will be just more hooks and barbs to entrap and intimidate.

    • Martin, Not much of anything would be built or achieved if social license were required. How often have you seen high voltage power lines win social license? Do you really think that a sewage treatment facility would win social license? What about an industrial manufacturing facility or an airport? Nope. Yet society wouldn’t survive without ’em. Take gas supplies away for a few weeks next February, then you’ll see how many people are for reintroducing them through any means possible. .

  4. More worm tongue words martin?

    The only anti depressants are by definition, the fracking industry, who seek to depress the human rights of free speech and peaceful protest?

    Perhaps the protectors of this planet are more aptly named anti suppressants?

    As usual you do not think through what you say, sad really, it must be depressing to be so short sighted?

    Never mind, better luck next time?

  5. Currently on holiday. Pretty sure a few anti fossil fuelers were on board.
    Good to see this headline x

    • If anyone is on holiday in Holland, Poland, or Hungry keep your eye out for a working frack site operated by Cuadrilla.

      With the suspension of their Dutch licences, poor results from Poland and the reassessment of the value of Delta Hungary hydrocarbons

      You may need to keep them particularly wide to spot anything at all.

      Since Cuadrilla are supposed to be leading the way in the UK let’s see posted all their active producing European wells pumping cheap safe gas.

      I await the list

  6. “People are giving a resounding NO to the industry.”

    Absolutely false Jack. Sorry, but two thirds who haven’t given a NO, hardly means the one third is resounding! Retreating, not resounding.

    Here’s a suggestion. Go away and commission some Market Research and speak to the professionals, whilst you do it. I am professionally qualified in Market Research and you are embarrassing in how you think you can manipulate data for your own ends, even adding Lord Browne’s outdated link into the mix (repeatedly). What is the point in such research if you are going to then try and manipulate what is produced? It really just identifies how the antis go about their task. No interest in factual information, just a desire to try and fool people, with the anti truth. This is 2018, not 1984. Why do you think the one third is not increasing? Perhaps the old saying is true-“you can fool some of the people, some of the time”. SOME.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Friday shows that you haven’t been successful. So, please do keep up the approach. Guess what? You will continue to achieve exactly the same result.

    I trust “frackinglawforsale” has not fallen back into his/her depression.

    • See what i mean Jack? Its like throwing rocks in a fracking waste pool, amusing at first, but the result simply excites the contents into frenzy and the overflow is ultimately unrewarding and unsavoury.

      • Well, its Sunday tomorrow and i’m going for a long walk with friends, so i will write the Sunday entertainment now.
        This is a skit on H. G. Wells, The War Of The Worlds, with apologies to the estate of H. G. Wells, here is a little play with the words so to speak.

        The War of the Words

        By H. G. F. Wells (did you see what I did there?) with a slight addition of Jeff Wayne’s version if you would like musical accompaniment.

        The Eve of the War

        But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited?…
        Are we or they Lords of the World?…
        And how are all things made for man?—

        Johannes Kepler

        You will have to imagine Richard Burton’s resonant tones narrating it.

        No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty first century that the Weald was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences far inferior to a northern English person’s and yet as mortal and much more cunning as their own; that as men and women and children busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a scientist with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

        With infinite complacency people went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter.

        It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the cold worlds of the greedy financial tax haven rat races as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of intelligent life amongst them as impossible or improbable.

        It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most people fancied there might be other life upon the Moors, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the vast gulfs of the financial tax haven rat race, minds that are to our minds those of the beasts that profit, intellects filled with greed and avarice, vast in girth and narrow in cold and unsympathetic mind, regarded the shale beneath our earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely they drew their plans against us. And it was then, early in the twenty first century they came and were a great disillusionment.

        At midnight, on the 1st of May, a huge mass of
        luminous gas erupted from across the cyberspace tax haven shares and sped towards the Earth.
        Across two hundred million dollars of void, invisibly hurtling
        towards us, came the first of the gas jets that were to
        bring so much calamity to Earth. As we watched, there was
        another jet of gas. It was another offensive, starting on its way.

        And that’s how it was for the next ten months.
        A flare, spurting out from shares – bright green,
        drawing a green mist behind it – a beautiful,
        but somehow disturbing sight.
        Ogilvy,the geologist, assured me we were in no danger.
        He was convinced there could be no intelligent living thing,
        on that remote, forbidding granite mindset.

        ‘The chances of anything intelligent coming from shares are a million
        to one,’ he said.
        ‘The chances of anything coming from shares are a million
        to one –
        but still they come!’

        Then came the night the first offensive
        approaching the heath. It was thought
        to be an ordinary oil tanker, but next day there was a
        huge crater in the middle of the
        Common, and Ogilvy came to examine what lay there: a
        Fracking chemical cylinder, thirty yards across,
        glowing hot… and with faint sounds of movement.
        coming from within.

        Suddenly the top began moving, rotating, unscrewing, and
        Ogilvy feared there was a
        man inside, trying to escape. he rushed to the cylinder,
        but the intense gasl stopped him
        before he could be asphyxiated by the fumes.

        ‘The chances of anything coming from shares are a million
        to one,’ he said.
        ‘The chances of anything coming from shares are a million
        to one – but they still come!’
        ‘Yes, the chances of anything coming from shares are a
        million to one,’ he said.
        ‘The chances of anything coming from shares are a million
        to one –
        but they still come!’

        It seems totally incredible to me now,
        that everyone spent that evening
        as though it were just like any other.
        From the railway station came the sound
        of late and over priced shunting trains, ringing and rumbling,
        softened almost into melody by the distance.
        It all seemed so safe and tranquil…..

        That’s all for today folks.

        More next week!

        Have a great weekend with family and friends and if you see any of those Martin war machines……

        Don’t worry, its only science fiction? Or is it?

    • OK MARTIN,

      I have provided links showing my evidence to back up what I say, now LET’S SEE YOUR evidence PLEASE , not just words backed up with a big fat ” Sweet Nothings ”

      Ok Martin , you are a professional at Market Research as well, I will add it to the list of unproven things , jobs , unspecified reports and nameless people you use when trying to bolster your corner in a debate .

      You have NEVER and I mean NEVER backed up anything you have said with any evidence , why is that ????

      Surely a Professsional Market Researcher would not make such basic errors with their maths .

      I’m Embarrassing……. Let’s let the members of this forum decide who to have a good laugh at .

      LADIES and GENTLEMEN , can I ask you to all read the above posts between myself and Martin and decide WHO has been twisting and distorting the truth and WHO has need for basic maths lessons…. Thank You

  7. Another wsy to look at the survey

    ONLY 21% local businesses support fracking

    66 % ……. NIMBY OPPOSE Fracking

    14 % ……. Don’t know or dont care

    This is a more accurate description

  8. With all respect Jack I have no need or inclination to prove my qualifications to you, or others. However, I have made it quite clear on numerous occasions on this site my career was largely involved with Agricultural Marketing. You can work out quite easily the qualifications that might be required to follow that career. Equally, you can trawl through my posts and see if you can identify any inaccuracies, such as you will easily find within some of your buddies posts, (eg. those who had reference to an “engineering” background but have no clue regarding red diesel and still needed to imply knowledge on the subject to others) and see what you find. Certainly a lot you may disagree with, but not inaccurate, as I only post when I have checked the facts. Ask PhilipP-we had a chat about Pug’s tails, I checked my facts and let him know that I had.

    Speaking of which, you can read today in the Sunday Times a nice little article around Jim Ratcliffe, how he made his break through and how he had to restructure his business during the “crash”. Might be a bit more informative than versions of the same from some of the antis that have been posted. But, I recall from our previous chats around the NT you have problems with following such simple links, Jack. For ever helpful, his book (The Alchemists) is out on June 18th, published by Biteback, only £20. You could Crowd Fund a copy, or borrow a copy from a library!

    Just think. For every book sold another few minutes (or seconds) of support for a QC!
    Perhaps Jim had read your comments about running out of money and diversified to mitigate against?

    Time for weeding now. Protecting the two thirds from the activities of the one third. The bindweed will probably require a little attention from the Roundup as it’s activities can get out of control. All so familiar. A time consuming job but the results are worth it.

    On a cheerful note. Dug my first new spuds this morning. Amazing how nature can recover so quickly from such as the Beast from the East. However (forever helpful) if you want fresh crab with your new spuds that might be a problem. The crab catch is pitiful currently. You can probably find confirmation from that on Giggle. My source was a relative who has his own crab processing business. Might see an improvement over time as it looks as if the Lizard is not going to be blasted to pieces of granite to build the Swansea Lagoon, but they take a little longer to grow than a spud.

    • ‘eg. those who had reference to an “engineering” background but have no clue’

      Reminded me of the small volume hydraulic fracturing of the Bowland shale in 2011

      It seems odd that anyone would encourage an industry that claims years of fracking experience but produces such serious technical failings.

      If it could be done right it would have been done right on the first attempt especially as the whole world was watching and if done property could have helped smooth the way forward.

      That chronic failure was 7 years ago.

      Now look what has happened

      The Labour party, the Green party, the Lib Dems, Unite, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, FOE, National Trust, hundreds of community groups, and many many others stopping the industry developing.

      UK shale will become the oil and gas industries biggest mistake and cost them and their gullible investors millions.

    • MARTIN ,

      I think we are all in no doubt , as to which way the Times Newspaper is leaning on the topic of fracking. For most on here, it will be as clear as the nose on their face ..

      It’s just like the Daily Mail with its daily Labour Party bashing , very predictable …… Although that being said , I’m still a regular reader of the Newspaper .

      For the fresh faces on here , the ” simple link ” Martin refers to which he says I had difficulty with, was NOT A LINK….. . He had directed me to a passage quoted in the Times Newspaper. As you all be aware, you can NOT access the Times online without PAYING…. I did ask for a direct link , but he instead suggested that I should just pop on down to my local library to view the article.

      I wasn’t referring to Mr Jim Ratcliffe running out of money , although like any other highly successful businessman, he would I imagine , where possible use other people’s money , instead of his own …… WHY WOULD he risk ALL his own money on a venture ???

      As with any company, or indeed person , when your backs against the wall financially and your in desparete need of money , you’re viewed as a greater risk. UP GOES the loan rates …. I think Fracking ticks all the boxes there , high risk , hemorageing endless amounts of money with NO social licence….. ( Just look at the performance of some of these other O&G companies.)

      Thanks for the book recommendation , I will indeed look in to it.

      We at least do share one passion, growing potatoes. I’ve just harvested an excellent crop of Maris Peer potatoes .

      PS ……. Don’t forget to be careful with that Roundup, there is a growing amount of evidence linking it with cancer .

  9. Well, Jack, what was that you were saying about gloating?? One of a number who seem to be happy if other people are losing money.

    Pretty rich from those who constantly post positives about the N.Sea and then state “if it could be done right it would have been done right on the first attempt”!! I’m sure a lot of medical advances happened exactly like that-NOT. And the N.Sea didn’t, either.

    Not sure that there are too many who have debated the subject on DOD who have shares in AJL. Shareholders may be the buzz word that excites a few anti capitalists but there are not many of them who have had an opportunity to invest in UK shale fracking, without collecting some unwanted baggage along the way. Might be interesting, as and when, that changes.

    Perhaps we are to believe that explains the two thirds? Not that credible, is it? I’m more inclined the two thirds is the simple maths related to the open minds the majority of the UK population exhibit until they have facts to change their opinion-not scare stories, not speculation, not manipulated data, but facts.

    Anyway Jack, next week in the Sunday Times the extract from Jim’s book will feature “How Ratcliffe vanquished the unions and saved Grangemouth from closure”, so 5% Len will now be mobilising the Guardian and JC, and you will soon observe the reaction to that, even if the Sunday Times is out of your reach. Enjoy. Oh, by the way, if you do manage to see this weeks section, interesting little deal your “expert” Lord Browne did with Jim. Just proves “experts” don’t get things right all the time.

    • There also, are a lot of IGAS shareholders that have lost the shirt of their backs ….

      But as with all investments, you pay your money and take your chances….. I think most people at some point in their lives, have been on the losing side of an investment .

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s