Residents’ letter urges Cuadrilla to abandon fracking at Preston New Road

190827 letter hand-in

Residents outside Cuadrilla’s headquarters at Bamber Bridge, near Preston, 27 August 2019. Photo: Frack Free Lancashire

A group of Lancashire residents handed a letter to Cuadrilla’s headquarters this morning requesting a permanent end to fracking at the company’s shale gas site near Blackpool.

The industry regulator suspended fracking at Preston New Road yesterday morning when operations caused the UK’s strongest fracking-induced tremor. The event, measuring 2.9ML, shook buildings across the Fylde region.

Since Cuadrilla resumed fracking nearly a fortnight ago, there have been more than 100 tremors. Two of the most recent, at 7.55am today (0.5ML) and 22.18pm yesterday (1.0ML), were again felt by people living near the site. (See DrillOrDrop’s PNR tremor tracker 2019)

Today’s letter, addressed to Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said the impacts of the site had “reached an intolerable level”:

“We are now horrified by the quantity and magnitude of induced seismic activity and earthquakes over a very short time frame.”

Opponents of fracking have welcomed the temporary halt ordered yesterday by the Oil & Gas Authority. But the letter suggested this was not enough:

“We do not accept that fracking will ever be safe or can be regulated effectively.”

cuadrilla-lanchashire-logoCuadrilla, which uses the slogan “Putting Lancashire First”, has been seeking a relaxation in the seismicity regulations, known as the traffic light system. It is also applying for more time to drill and frack two more wells at Preston New Road.

The letter urged Mr Egan:

“If you really want to “put Lancashire first” you should leave us alone and seek no further changes to the Traffic Light System or seek any extension to your planning permission.”

It also referred to a 2.3ML tremor, induced by Cuadrilla’s fracking at another Lancashire site eight years ago, as well as the company’s revisions of its permissions and appeals against refusals of planning consent:

“We have endured enough, emotionally and financially, from the Preese Hall earthquakes in 2011, through to the numerous appeals and legal challenges, to the current intolerable situation we now face.

“We are not a sacrifice zone and do not accept that any potential economic benefits outweigh our welfare.  Our environment and health must be paramount.”

A spokesperson for the residents said:

“Public confidence in fracking is at an all-time low. Residents have absolutely had enough of the spin, lies and ridiculous comparisons of earthquakes to fruit and household items.

“Our lives and wellbeing should be prioritised over a private company’s financial gain.”

DrillOrDrop invited Cuadrilla to comment to the contents of the letter. This article will be updated with any response.

12 replies »

  1. It needs the Local and County Councils to join with the local residents to push the Government to get Cuadrilla out of the Fylde, unless the PEDL licence is revoked they will keep coming back to another plot near someone else. I am sure Egan will now be lobbying further for the TLS to be revised.

    • Amazon forests /Oxygen/coolant destroyed for Money
      Deserts / Oil /thermostat/coolant
      Pumped and stockpiled For money You can’t keep taking the natural resources that created this Earth without consequences! Common sense tells me Fracking is a risk to all of us on our little Island of Britain! Ok it works in the USA
      Far greater land mass ? Do something positive like pumping natural coolant resources back into the Earth
      Corn oil/Olive oil /Rapeseed oil etc .
      If we don’t act soon to cool the Core ! Well ???

  2. Thank you guys, I think the letter accurately describes the feelings of Lancashire residents, enough is enough.
    And thanks for all the hard work and long hours you have spent putting a stop to this industry 🙂

  3. No further evidence is needed as to what can go wrong on the seismic front. A recently published ‘good read’ will provide also the evidence as to what can go wrong on the health front. Try Eliza Griswold’s 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner ‘Amity and Prosperity: One family and the Fracturing of America’. Make no mistake, our ‘gold standard’ regulations will not stop such disasters here in our more densely populated island with its poorly understood geology. We must stop fracking in its tracks, starting with Cuadrilla at Preston New Road, but not stopping there. It is not too late to persuade Lancashire CC to disallow Aurora’s plans to frack at Great Altcar near Formby. Egan will not be persuaded, I’m afraid. No amount of reasonableness can conceal the facts of fracking, and the real reasons for its promotion. It will require a strong government to order a stop.

  4. Whenever I visit Blackpool I am always aware of how windy it is there .I suggest getting rid of fracking and install wind turbines ..problem solved .

    • I agree Penny. The residents will be happy to see more wind farms offshore and the Government should make a special case to allow the Fylde to bid against the offshore wind companies for renewable energy contracts for onshore wind farms with nuderstanding that these will have permitted development rights in the Fylde area only.

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