Expert tells inquiry fracking won’t damage landscape

Fracking public enquiry at Blackpool Fottball Club.  Pictured is Francis Egan from Cuadrilla on Tuesday.
Fracking public enquiry at Blackpool Fottball Club. Pictured is Francis Egan from Cuadrilla on Tuesday.
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A landscape expert today told a public inquiry into fracking in Lancashire that operations at either proposed drilling site would not cause permanent significant damage to the visual character of the area.

Andrew Tampany was asked for his opinions on the impact that drilling rigs, fencing and other aspects of the proprosed shale gas operations would cause to the rural sites.

Mr Tampany was giving evidence in Blackpool on the fourth day of a public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s appeal against Lancashire County Council’s refusal of permission to frack at sites in Roseacre Wood, near Elswick, and Preston New oad, Little Plumpton.

Called on behalf of Cuadrilla, chartered landscape arhitect Mr Tampany said he accepted that the 53-metre high drilling rigs would cause a temporary visual intrusion.

But he said there would be no permanent harm to the landscape after restoration.

Operations at both sites are expected to cease after about five years.

Speaking about both sites, he concluded: “None of the proposals will materially affect the key landscape characteristics.”

There were no visible protesters and around 20 people in the public gallery as the inquiry continued today.

The hearing, chaired by inspector Wendy McKay, is expected to last up to five weeks.