A Cuadrilla rig in Lancashire

Member Article

Lancashire fracking application rejected

An application by energy firm Cuadrilla to extract shale gas by the controversial ‘fracking’ method at a site in Lancashire has been refused.

Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - was suspended in the UK in 2011 following earth tremors in Blackpool where Cuadrilla had previously drilled.

The company wanted to begin exploratory drilling and fracking on a site at Little Plumpton, between Preston and Blackpool.

Although planning officials had recommended that the application should be approved, subject to working hours, noise control and highway matters, Lancashire County councillors rejected the application by ten votes to four.

It followed a motion by the authority’s development control committee to reject the bid on the grounds of “unacceptable noise impact” and the “adverse urbanising effect on the landscape”.

Fracking is a technique in which water and chemicals are pumped into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.

County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, 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 Government has lent its support to the fracking industry, claiming it will create jobs and growth, reduce energy prices and reduce Britain’s reliance on gas imports.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Malia .

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