“Fantastic news” – fracking opponents celebrate Roseacre Wood refusal

160209 Blackpool enquiry umbrellas

Protestors outside the Blackpool planning enquiry, Feb 2016.  Photo: DrillOrDrop

Opponents of Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at a second site near Blackpool were celebrating this afternoon at the government’s decision to refuse permission.  Full Details

The local government secretary, James Brokenshire, announced at lunchtime that he was refusing planning consent on highway safety grounds for drilling and fracking at Roseacre Wood.

181015 pnr Barbara richardson

Barbara Richardson, chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 15 October 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Barbara Richardson, chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, said this afternoon:

“We are absolutely delighted that at last the government is listening to communities and recognises the inherent unsuitability of Roseacre Wood and the surrounding roads for heavy traffic.

“This application was rejected at every level by over 90% of local residents, seven town and parish councils, twice by Fylde Borough and Lancashire County councils, by the original Planning Inspector and even two local conservative MPs!”

Mrs Richardson said Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood scheme would have needed 15,000 journeys by the largest 44-tonne, six-axle heavy goods vehicles, travelling along narrow and winding country lanes, used by walkers, cyclists, horse riders, farm vehicles livestock and commuters.

She said:

“Over 13,000 people objected to the original plans. Our community has spent five years, thousands of hours and tens of thousands of pounds, producing evidence supporting Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.

“This has caused considerable stress and anxiety, residents have shown great determination and resilience in trying to protect their communities.

“At last our community can relax.”

But she added:

“We are still very concerned about this government’s intention to push fracking on unwilling communities and we will do whatever we can to support other communities faced with this threat.

We sincerely hope that Cuadrilla will respect the decision of the second Planning Inspector and the Secretary of State and will not attempt to challenge this decision. If the company does, it will meet fierce and sustained opposition.

“Fracking is not wanted and not needed. It is neither safe nor sustainable. There is no social license and communities will not be bought.”

180419 RW inq 4 Jules Burton

Jules Burton speaking at the Roseacre Wood inquiry on 19 April 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Jules Burton, who lives in Roseacre, told DrillOrDrop this afternoon:

“I am not in the slightest bit surprised that the government has decided to refuse this appeal. It is the only decision that makes sense.

“As residents who know these local roads, we have been saying for the past five years that the routes are not satisfactory.

“The decision by the then secretary of state, Sajid Javid, to reopen the inquiry showed his ignorance of what he was speaking about.

Mr Burton mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge in 2017 to the reopening of the public inquiry. He added:

“We are delighted at this news.

“It is fantastic for local residents. But we are disappointed that it has taken five years to reach this decision, five years of our lives that have been blighted by the prospect of this industry being imposed on the community in a totally unworkable way.”

190209 Ribby Hall Susan Holiday Refracktion

Susan Holliday, chair of Preston New Road Action Group, Living with Fracking event at Ribby Hall, near Blackpool, 9 February 2019. Photo: Refracktion.com

Susan Holliday, chair of Preston New Road Action Group, said:

“Preston New Road Action Group are delighted that permission has been refused for the Roseacre Site. No community should have to put up with the disruption and anxiety that has been suffered by the residents of Preston New Road for the last two years, so it is great to hear that Cuadrilla will not be progressing a second site.”

Jamie Peters

Jamie Peters (speaking left), campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said this afternoon:

“This is fantastic news that will come as a huge relief to Roseacre residents. It’s also a triumph for the tireless campaigners who have worked long and hard for this outcome.

“But many other communities across England are still faced with the threat of fracking so the government must also listen to them and accept that this industry is completely unviable.

“With scientists warning that there is so little time left to get on top of climate change, it’s clearer than ever that the future lies in clean, renewable energy.”

Full details of the refusal

Cuadrilla’s reaction

14 replies »

  1. Congratulations to everyone who opposed and exposed this fatally flawed application, all those thousands of hours and time and expense was well spent after all.

    From John Powney
    If you can’t spread your wings you can’t fly.
    Well done to all involved.

    • Not sure “all those thousands of hours and time and expense was well spent after all” made any difference. The application was quite rightly refused on traffic grounds as it was originally recommended for refusal by the Planning Officer. It should never have gone to Appeal and should have been refused. Cuadrilla should not have appealed it. But this was self inflicted by LCC in that the Planning Committee should have approved PNR and refused Roseacre in accordance with the Planning Officer’s recommendations. LCC’s stupid decision cost the local community a lot of time and money; of course there was a lot of hard lobbying by EOI and antis of the Committee – but look what this cost? Cuadrilla only wanted one site out of the two; refusing both led to Cuadrilla automatically appealing both as they needed one of them. A lesson for LCC Planning Committee…..and for the lobbyists.

  2. A great credit to those who have fought so long and so hard to prevent fracking at Roseacre. What a pity that it takes so much to persuade government in a soi-distant democracy that it would be wrong to pursue the course of action they have so stubbornly insisted upon. Let’s hope that the tide has turned and that government intransigence has been just another casualty of a foolish Brexit.

  3. Fantastic news! Well done to everyone who has fought so long to prevent fracking at Roseacre, and another nail in the coffin of this dead-on-its-feet unwanted and unnecessary industry.

  4. After years of stress,immense work and expense for the residents and the local authority this result has proved, if nothing else, that Cuadrilla have no regard whatsoever for the safety of the community.

  5. Fantastic news, well done to all the campaigners who have kept this movement going despite the industry bullying and bribing their way into the UK and the Fylde.
    Let’s hope the legal actions to save PNR from devastation get the result they deserve also.

  6. Thank you to everyone who has supported us. Much appreciated. A good day for us but other communities are still under threat.

  7. Well done and congratulations to all involved. Let’s hope the suspension imposed by the Scottish Government becomes permanet otherwise we are also in the firing line, but great to hear of your success.

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