Councillors sign letter against fast track frack drilling

The drilling rig at Preston New Road
The drilling rig at Preston New Road

Councillors from the Fylde coast and Lancashire County Council have signed an open letter to opposing government proposals to fast track frack drilling.

The Conservatives want to make drilling such as at Preston New Road a permitted development which would mean no planning permission is needed.

It's aim is to speed up fracking development by avoiding lengthy planning permission decisions at an early stage. Permission would be required for actual fracking, however.

Opponents of fracking and others say this goes against the principal of local democracy and local councillors' insight into planning decisions is vital.

The signatories include Gillian Campbell, David Owen and Martin Mitchell all from Blackpool Council’s Labour group, Heather Speak and Linda Nulty from Fylde Independents, Cheryl Raynor, Rob Fail and Emma Anderson from Wyre Labour, plus 14 councillors from Lancashire County Council.

Lizzi Collinge, from Lancashire County Council’s Labour group, said: “The proper place to make local planning decisions is in the local council. Only local representatives can assess the local conditions.”