Breaking: Judge grants Cuadrilla injunction over Lancs fracking site to 2020

180531 Cuadrilla injunction 2 Steve Speed

Anti-fracking campaigners outside Manchester Civil Justice Centre, 31 Mary 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

A High Court judge has granted Cuadrilla its injunction against specific anti-fracking protests around its shale gas site near Blackpool.

The injunction outlaws direct actions including trespass, slow walking, lock-ons, obstruction of the highway and lorry surfing at and near the Preston New Road site

It also prohibits interference of named companies that supply the site.

The injunction replaces an earlier order against trespass at Preston New Road and will last until 1 June 2020.

Judge Mark Pelling QC said of the injunction was needed because people who had previously protested at Preston New Road had moved to other shale gas sites.

“This suggests that without the order in place, such people would return to the PNR site and resume the unlawful activity that gave rise to the application in the first place.”

He said of the order:

“[it] strikes the correct balance between the rights of the company and the protesters because protesters have been able to protest including gathering on the highway and, gathering in the bellmouth for public meetings, albeit for limited period.”

He said:

“The claimants [Cuadrilla[ fear that without the protection of the order sought there would be an upsurge in protest activity in September 2018 when fracking is due to commence and thereafter with flow testing of gas commences

“These fears are well founded.”

Judge Pelling rejected arguments made at a hearing yesterday by two anti-fracking campaigners that there was no imminent threat and that action over unlawful acts should be left to the police. He also rejected their concerns that the injunction was against “persons unknown” or that it also applied to members of Cuadrilla’s supply chain.

He made small changes to the wording of the order.

At yesterday’s hearings, the campaigners also argued that Cuadrilla’s evidence was inaccurate and exaggerated. They also said the injunction breached human rights and was already having a chilling effect on the behaviour of people opposed to shale gas developments.

One of the campaigners, Bob Dennett, accused Cuadrilla of manipulating evidence to make it appear that a temporary injunction issued on 1 June 2018 appeared to have worked. He also described some of Cuadrilla’s statements about protester activity as “largely just allegations, conjecture, exaggeration, hearsay and rumour and, in some instances, outright lies.”

Ian Crane, the other challenger, described the injunction as an abuse of process that undermined democracy. He said:

“If granted it takes the regulation of freedom of expression and association into a whole new area with severe wide-ranging restrictions.

“If there is to be no opportunity to express concern, beyond standing on the side of street waving a banner without the penalty of losing assets or liberty, this should be put before parliament. It should not be put before a civil court.”

Yesterday, Tom Roscoe, for Cuadrilla, described the injunction as a:

“just and convenient and a proportionate interference with the protestors’ human rights.”

He said the temporary injunction had resulted in “no diminution of the ability of peaceful law-abiding protesters to assemble outside the Preston New Road site”.

But he said without the injunction

“protesters will seek to disrupt, delay or prevent the attainment of those milestones by the same sorts of unlawful acts which have been deployed in the past.”

Cuadrilla did not seek costs against Mr Crane and Mr Dennett. They did not seek to take the injunction to trial. But anyone could do this at any time between now and 2020.

  •  DrillOrDrop report on reaction to the Cuadrilla injunction ruling
  • A similar injunction granted to Ineos is to be challenged by two other campaigners at the Court of Appeal in March 2019. A deputy High Court judge is considering a further injunction application by UK Oil and Gas with a ruling expected in August 2018 (DrillOrDrop report).


DrillOrDrop report of yesterday’s hearing (10/7/2018)

DrillOrDrop report of first hearing (31/5/2018)

Link to Cuadrilla injunction documents (Dropbox)

Green and Black Cross guide to injunctions

Reporting on this case was made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop

39 replies »

  1. See the reserve generator, known to some as refracktion, has been called upon in this emergency! Only seems to appear when there is such an emergency and like most emergency generators, splutters into life, but shows clearly that maintenance was curtailed and output is then somewhat limited! Let’s blame the diesel.

    There’s always the ‘photo award to fall back upon.

    Must settle down to the football.

    “It’s coming home. It’s coming home. Fracking’s coming home.”


    • You are correct Ian, a last gasp pyrrhic victory that will do precisely the opposite to what is intended.

      Blame and backstabbing is pointless and non productive, dont fall into that trap, they would love to keep you there sniping at eachother, just look at the joy of the anti antis to see such fun? Dont give them a present to feed off, and dont let them set one against the other, that is their skill and their intent. Ignore them, they have shot their bolt. Nothing can be gained or served by discussing anything with them.

      The situation exists now, we deal with that as adults and work towards changing the entire corrupt process bit by bit by peaceful means..

      i dont think any of us really doubted this would go through, even if we said otherwise, that is optimism and carries us a long way when faced with such gross violations of our peaceful country, remember we repel invasions just as we have done in the past.

      Every aggressors initial victory leads to their downfall, because it is the beginning of organised opposition, there is no such thing as an easy fight, there is always a price to pay.
      The only real question is that are we willing to pay that price now to repel an invader, or do we wait until the aggressor has almost won before we finally make up our mind to do something about it? Some all ready have made that decision, don’t criticise them, support them and use their knowledge to organise better.

      The British have always delayed until almost the final moment, because we think the price of resistance too early is too high in the short term, but eventually we have had to risk everything and it is better to be prepared for that, than risk all at the last moment unprepared when we are all divided and up against the wall, as we surely will be if this goes on..

      Its what makes us British, we are always best when up against it, and rather too complacent and reserved to make a push back too early.

      We have a situation to deal with, the invaders are inside the gates, their weapons are much as we see on these pages, they use our own government and our own law courts and our own press against us, those must either be educated correctly informed and revised, or peacefully and legally removed and dispensed with and replaced with something that serves everyone, not just the rich and powerful corporations and establishment.

      These seem like harsh words, and i do not take it lightly to say them, however…..

      Remember we did not ask for any of this, it was imposed upon us without our permission without or consent and without our full knowledge of the risks to ourselves and our country and our planet. We know now know the truth and we see the results of that all around us, and it being denied daily, not just here but in government and across the world..

      We were encouraged to slumber whilst the self proclaimed and self serving aggressors drew their plans to run rough shod over us, no doubt thinking we were all asleep. Many were and many more are waking up to the truth every day. Opposition is almost countywide now. We are under concerted attack from several internal and external forces and their weapon is our collective ignorance in the mainstream, so education is the first step, get the truth out everywhere.

      The consequences of compliance and subservience to those forces does not bear thinking about, we thought we had done away with invasion and slavery and hatred, well, here it is again, and it is far more dangerous than before because we have let it get too close, too powerful and turned our backs on the consequences.

      So, what i suggest, is that far from apportioning blame to anyone who has done their utmost best so far, and have kept us abreast of events and have actually themselves stood up to be recognised, is that we get together with the various opposition groups and work out as many strategies as can be developed sensibly, to keep the whole thing flexible and peaceful and legal without centres or leaders or places of origin, and meet as equals with a problem to solve.

      Truth will always triumph in the end, the aggressors will always allow a a bigger aggressor to grow more powerful from within, and ultimately they will destroy themselves from the inside, all we have to do is give them a push, and out they will go. We are seeing that now, that is the way of hegemonic greed and power, it eventually tears itself apart by its own inner avarice and hunger and jealousy, all we have to do is pick up the pieces and reassemble them into something intelligent and rational for our children and the future of our planet. And then always be watchful, and never more sleep on watch.

      There are those, you see them here, who will feed off internal in fighting and dissent, dont feed them, starve them, they have shown nothing but contempt to everyone in this country, reflect that back at them and dont feed their greed or give them the pleasure of your compliance in debating anything with them.

      • Well written, but “off the peg cut and paste” seen often. All conspiracy theory, and they’re out to get us. Might work for the young and easily hoodwinked – but heh! that’s your aim. Peace..

        • This may be a difficult concept for those unwilling, or unable to understand originality, but perhaps you could be so kind as to point to the text from which this was clearly not taken?

          No cut, no paste, all original, sorry to burst that embryonic bubble, never mind, originality is something so rare here apparently, it is not recognised by those who don’t use it?

          No fracking cigar near to gas wells please, or you’ll be sorry?

          Conspiracy? Ha! Ha! Look around you, you see your PR desk colleagues? Not a theory is it? There are more than enough…..winking?……hoods?……there, to cover a multitude of PR sins aren’t there? Some can even write?

          In fact I see one of them right here?

          Never mind, come back another day, tea is at four, lessons in original thinking are at five, bring a pad, not the big fracking ones, the little paper ones with a pencil. You may need a crowbar to prize off the blinkers though, don’t worry, it’s not painful, the real out here world is not so bad, it’s just not used enough is all?

          Have a nice day!

    • Martin if you ever grew a backbone and came down to PNR i’d be delighted to introduce you to some real people who don;t hide behin a keyboard reading the Daily Mail, or is it the Daily Sheeple. [Edited by moderator].

  2. Good news.
    But maybe we should list the concerns raised by those against ( the more specific ones ) and see if they come true over time.
    Likewise, for those companies without an injunction, see if the concerns of Cuadrilla and INOS materialise.
    A bit like counting the days to finding WMDs perhaps.

    • INOS? Weapons of Mass Drilling?

      Maybe Donald Trump should have taken out an In Junk Sham to prevent protest by the British public against his unwelcome and unwanted Presidence?

      Mass arrests and imprisonment and theft of assets? Now where have we heard that before?

      • On the Donald Trump note, this week he has shown his hand. Germany ‘in bed with the Russians’ because they buy gas from them; a ‘threat’ to NATO, no less; cue next, the new offer from the US ‘You can buy our gas then you will be one of the ‘boys’ again…….’

        Will be very pleased to see Angela send him to the naughty step!

          • Am afraid as far as Europe goes we have been consigned to the scrap heap; to be fair this is not new as history shows. We are but a small island, all be it with grandiose ideas. There are 66 million folk who are about to go on the wildest ride of their lives. Hang onto your hats!

  3. The ruling despite the well-intentioned efforts of Mr Justice Pelling who tried to judge fairly under difficult circumstances, unfortunately shows there are people in the anti fracking community who are a clear threat to the its progress. Genuine protectors wish to let people see the genuine dangers of fracking

  4. You certainly don’t understand football, do you refracktion! I think you will find the vast majority-much more than two thirds-will be quite happy with England’s performance and progression, and still feel “football is coming home”. You have a very simplistic outlook upon many things. The mistake you make is to think the majority are the same. [Edited by moderator]

  5. Oh dear Sherwulfe. What’s wrong with Norwegian gas? She won’t need too much as exports to US dry up.

    You do realise the new pipeline will mean the supply via Ukraine can then be shut down as and when Russia want? Of course you do, but not wanting to share that.

    So, when Ukraine is isolated and locals are fermented is Angela going to step in to secure the borders? With what?

    Besides which, she will not be around much longer and someone else will have that problem.

    • Ooops, you completely missed the point again MC; sigh

      Perhaps DT wants to up the spend on arms because there is a threat to world peace? [Or, in the real world he wants to sell more guns}.

      Oil and guns…’I just want to make the people happy,’ DT 12th July 2018.

  6. Oops-we didn’t notice you couldn’t answer the points Sherwulfe. (Oh, yes we did.)

    OK, so you think there is no threat to world peace currently? Norway asking for troops from Germany-no. Poland asking for troops from Germany-no. From the Donald? Yes.

    Angela adding her broomstick to those in the German forces who have been training with such in place of anything a little more lethal, will make the difference? Well, only if you are J.K.Rowling.

    In the real world, anyone who owns a Labrador will have Angela quivering in the corner. (DYOR on that one, and then you will realise why even Macron has added a dog to his “forces”.)

    • The only threat to world peace is the fighting over oil and gas resources. Everything else is a walk in the park.

      Fear drives consumerism so the few can get wealthy from death and destruction; nothing new here. That’s the point.

      If you want to be an apologist for the ‘nappy man’, go ahead; but remember he will wipe you off his boot after he’s finished his round of golf.

  7. “The only threat to world peace” etc. Really?

    You need to get a TV, expand your reading, or get out a bit more! Blinkers on.

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