Anti-frackers rally together in Blackpool

Cuadrilla site on Anna's Road , Westby.
Cuadrilla site on Anna's Road , Westby.
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Residents and environmentalists are joining forces to oppose fracking with a new county wide campaign.

Groups from the Fylde are teaming up with other opponents of the controversial method of extracting gas from deep lying shale rock to launch Frack Free Lancashire.

The move comes as the company exploring for gas on the Fylde, Cuadrilla, has submitted its second planning application to drill up to four wells and test for gas.

It last week applied for a site off Preston New Road, Little Plumpton and yesterday sent in a bid for one at Roseacre Wood.

The new campaign will be unveiled in St John’s Square Blackpool this Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Headed by Residents Action on Fylde Fracking it features 15 groups from Fylde and Wyre villages such as Freckleton, Singleton,Inskip, Kirkham,plus Thornton, Fleetwood, Preston, Longridge and the Ribble Estuary. Organisers said the campaign aims to give county people the opportunity to oppose Quadrilla’s new planning applications, while also raising awareness to the dangers they say that shale development poses to communities.

Following the launch, each campaign group will be regularly setting up a stall in their town centre to give the public details of how to object to the planning applications.

Ebony Johnson, from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, said: “Shale gas development poses a significant threat to the Lancashire environment, wildlife and the health and safety of local communities. Lancashire residents have the right to say no to shale gas development in their community.

“It has become apparent that many people do not know how to make an objection, especially those who do not have access to the internet. It is the goal of the FrackFree Lancashire campaign to allow residents to get involved, have their say and make their voice count.”

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “There are groups from right across Lancashire getting involved. We have 16 weeks during which Lancashire County Council is to consider the planning applications for the drill sites and we want to make everyone aware of the issues.”

The Roseacre Group is holding a meeting tonight at the Boys Brigade Hall, Carr Lane, Treales from 7pm.

A Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “The majority of the energy used in the UK to heat homes, provide hot water and to cook with comes from natural gas and the potential of shale is important to the security of this supply. The development of the shale gas industry could bring significant investment, jobs and opportunities for local people.”