Anti-fracking fence art set to stay at Fylde drill site

The  decoration on the security fences at the Preston New Road fracking site
The decoration on the security fences at the Preston New Road fracking site
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Anti-fracking “fence fairies” have claimed victory at the Preston New Road drilling site after art work will be allowed to remain.

Protesters have decorated security fencing at the entrance to the site with tape and ribbons to produce environmental themed pictures.

Police at the site were intitially concerned that the “murals” may pose a safety risk as they blocked up the holes in the fence which allows the wind to pass through.

But they decided the fences would not blow over if extra sand bags were places on the feet as ballast.

The row came as protesters prepare a programme of action against fracking as the planning inquiry into a second site at Roseacre Wood nears on April 10.

Sara Jacques said residents at the protest camp near the site decided to brighten up the fencing with art work.

She said: “They are to distract people from the monstrosity rig in the field behind.

“One of the Cuadrilla staff complained to police about health and safety of the fence panels having been decorated. LCC came and did a risk assessment and were happy for them to stay and provided sand bags to secure the fence bases.”

But Cuadrilla has said it had not tried to remove the panels.

A spokesman said: “We have not requested for the protester material to be removed from the fencing outside our Preston New Road site.

"However, as a duty of care to road users in the area, we wanted to ensure the panels were not causing a risk to them in case the wind changed direction. These panels have now been reinforced to mitigate that risk.”