Cuadrilla fracking application rejected by Lancashire Council

Reuters / Andrew Yates
Lancashire County Council has unanimously voted to reject a planning application for fracking in the region. Residents and environmentalists, who have been protesting throughout the council’s two-day meeting, welcomed the news.

The county council’s Development Control Committee refused Cuadrilla’s application to drill for shale gas in the local Roseacre Wood area due to concerns over traffic and activity on the site causing “an unacceptable impact” on the roads.

Roseacre Wood is located between the Lancashire towns of Preston and Blackpool.

In a statement, the council said: “The application for Roseacre Wood was refused in line with officers’ recommendations that the proposal would have an unacceptable and potentially severe impact on the road network, both in terms of traffic and the increased danger to other road users.”

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County Councilor Marcus Johnstone, who is cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, and a member of the Development Control Committee, said: “The development control committee has listened very carefully to many hours of evidence both for and against the proposal, and considered the report of the council's planning officers.

“The decision to refuse this application has been reached by a vote of the committee, and each member of the committee has ultimately cast their vote based on the evidence they have heard and whether they think the proposal is acceptable.”

The committee has yet to decide on a second proposal in the area.

Friends of the Earth North West campaigner Furqan Naeem welcomed the decision.

This is a tremendous victory for local people and everyone across Lancashire and the UK who have been tirelessly highlighting the risks fracking poses to their quality of life and the climate.

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“But the fracking threat still hangs ominously over the community near Preston New Road.

“Poll after poll shows people want renewables, not fracking – and the clean energy and long-term jobs they would provide.

“Lancashire councilors must put local people and our environment first and reject Cuadrilla’s controversial application when they meet next Monday.”

Cuadrilla said it was disappointed by the outcome.

We are disappointed but not surprised that Lancashire County Council’s development control committee has denied planning consent for our application at Roseacre Wood as their decision follows a negative recommendation by the council’s planning officers.”