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Perry gives green light to fracking at controversial Lancashire site

Words: Huw Morris

Shale gas company Cuadrilla is expected to start fracking at a well in Lancashire in the next few weeks after a minister rubber-stamped its application.

Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry issued a permit under new regulations allowing the controversial process to proceed at Preston New Road, between Blackpool and Preston, which has witnessed numerous protests from campaigners. The approval follows checks by the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

“Our world-class regulations will ensure that shale exploration will maintain robust environmental standards and meet the expectations of local communities,” said Perry.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said the site is in “compliance with robust health, safety, environmental and planning regulations”.

The company intends to submit a consent application for a second well at Preston New Road.

Friends of the Earth accused the government of “sneaking out” an unpopular decision on the last day of Parliament.

“Here we are sweltering in the middle of a heat wave and the government’s actions are cranking up the thermostat on our already alarmingly warming climate,” said campaigns director Liz Hutchins.

Image credit | iStock