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Lancashire campaigners lose fracking appeal

Words: Laura Edgar
Fracking / iStock_000022131270

The Court of Appeal has rejected two challenges from campaigners against fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

The two challenges were brought forward by Preston New Road Action Group and campaigner Gayzer Frackman.

In June 2015, Lancashire County Council refused Cuadrilla’s application to begin shale gas exploration at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton, on noise and visual impact grounds.

Under his responsibility as communities secretary, Sajid Javid backed an inspector’s decision to approve the exploration application at Preston New Road in October 2016.

The challenges claimed that Javid had misinterpreted planning and environmental guidance when he approved the application.

The Court of Appeal said its role was to decide whether the secretary of state “had committed an error of law”, not whether his decision was “right”.

The court also refused permission for appeals to be made at the Supreme Court.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, noted that the same challenges were previously dismissed by the High Court in April 2017.

“We have always remained confident that the planning consent would stand, particularly after such a lengthy and thorough review of the application and positive recommendations for approval by both the professional planning officers at Lancashire County Council and subsequently an experienced planning inspector.”

Planning consent remained in place while the case was heard. Egan said the firm has completed it data acquisition programme and begun drilling the horizontal section of the first of two initial wells.

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Lancashire fracking application refused

Appeal: Javid approves controversial fracking plans for Lancashire

Image credit | iStock