Fracking sites ‘would not produce unacceptable noise’ expert tells inquiry

Fracking public enquiry at Blackpool Football Club.  Pictured is Wendy McKay.

Fracking public enquiry at Blackpool Football Club. Pictured is Wendy McKay.

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Energy firm Caudrilla could carry out drilling for shale gas at both its planned sites without any unacceptable noise levels from the rig, an expert has told a public inquiry.

Dr David Hiller said according to tests the gas exploration company had carried out, and previous experience at other sites, the noise levels from drilling would fall well within acceptable limits.

Dr Hiller was giving evidence in Blackpool on the third 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 Road, Little Plumpton.

He questioned whether World Health Organisation guidelines on noise levels being quoted by opponents of fracking were appropriate to a temporary shale gas exploration operation that Cuadrilla was proposing.

Dr Hiller, called on behalf of Cuadrilla, said in view of the noise generated by drilling, there was”no sound reason to reject the exploration at either site on the grounds of noise.”

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

The hearing, chaired by Wendy McKay, is expected to last around three weeks.