Fylde residents’ fracking fears raised – along with business leaders’ hopes for jobs

Natalie Bennet, leader of the Green Party , spoke at  the anti fracking demo outside Lancashire County Hall, in Preston Lancashire.
Natalie Bennet, leader of the Green Party , spoke at the anti fracking demo outside Lancashire County Hall, in Preston Lancashire.
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Members of the public were given their chance to say why they thought Cuadrilla’s application to drill and test frack at Roseacre and an associated application to install a series of seismic monitoring stations be rejected.

Lucy Cookson, from Treales, said: “My family has worked the land here for six generations. Up until now I have felt safe and happy here. But life has changed. People are worried and afraid about the threat of fracking and damage it could do to health and environment.”

She said the noise, traffic flaring of gas and fumes from trucks would be unbearable and the County Council must consider young people’s welfare.

Gillian Cookson, also of Treales, said monitoring sites must also be refused, fearing they could be converted into drill sites.

Resident John Hodgson said he was worried that the concerns that Lancashire’s director of public health had expressed about fracking were being side-lined. He said the doctor had listed 61 concerns and said that fracking should not go ahead when there was no health monitoring process in place.

But Michael Roberts, of Garstang, said there had been too much scaremongering.

He said: “A leaflet handed out asserted that fracking was linked to breast cancer and to birth defects. This is pure speculation and shows a lack of integrity.”

Hotelier Claire Smith, chairman of Stay Blackpool said: “Outside of tourism Blackpool has lost 14,500 jobs in the past 10 years according to the Centre for Cities report.

“There is far less local opposition than we are led to believe. It could be a catalyst for regeneration. I believe it could bring new jobs..”

Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands said: “Today’s decision is a victory for local democracy over corporate arrogance and government meddling.

“Yesterday we saw local councillors paralysed by fears of a legal challenge from the frackers on a separate application. Today the people’s elected representatives found their voice again.

“Tens of thousands of Lancashire residents will now be hoping that, emboldened by today’s decision, the councillors will ignore the enormous pressure from ministers and the fracking lobby and stop fracking at the Preston New Road site too.”