Third Fylde fracking decision delay

A Cuadrilla drilling rig

A Cuadrilla drilling rig

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A decision on whether to allow fracking to take place at two sites on the Fylde has been delayed once more.

Lancashire County Council has asked for an extension to the deadline to rule on 
energy company Cuadrilla’s bid to drill, frack and test the flow of gas on land off Preston New Road near Little Plumpton.

They say they will now give their decision on the site by January 31, the date it has earmarked for a decision on the Roseacre Wood site.

It had previously been agreed that the Preston New Road application would be decided by December 31, 2014.

A County Hall statement said: “The planners have been working since the applications were received in June to consult with the public and other statutory agencies, and assess the applications, to ensure all the information needed to determine them is put before the development control committee. As part of this process, further information on both sites has been provided by Cuadrilla.

“Lancashire County Council will hold a further consultation to allow for representations on the further information to be made.

“The new determination date for the Preston New Road site will allow time for any representations on the further information for both sites to be considered and addressed.”

It said the consultation will take place from today to Friday, December 19 and information will be published on its website www.lancashire.gov.uk and made available at Fylde libraries and Fylde Council offices.

A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “We have accepted the county council’s request for its third extension to the determination period for our planning application to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas at Preston New Road.

“We understand the requirement for a further period of consultation following further clarification and signposting we provided regarding information in our thorough Environmental Statements, that accompanied both of our planning applications.”

Bob Dennett, from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, said many people would not welcome a further delay.

He said: “The Public Health England report last week said the whole thing was extremely stressful for residents.

“This delay will make that worse and is just politically motivated.”

Patricia Davies, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This application has generated more than 11,000 objections and the county council is wise to take the time to study all of the consultation documentation thoroughly.”