A traffic safety scheme for a revised bid by Cuadrilla to frack at Roseacre Wood has been rejected by Fylde Council and has been recommended for refusal by experts at County Hall.
Fylde Council’s planning committee has voted unanimously to oppose the shale gas exploration company’s move to construct a drill site near Roseacre and Wharles.
Fylde planning officers considering the application said that the plan to have trucks use three rural routes instead of one to service the site was totally unsuitable and councillors, who inspected the site and surrounding roads, agreed.
They are now to write to Lancashire County Council to voice opposition.
Cuadrilla hopes to drill and test frack up to four wells at the rural site. Planning inspector Wendy McKay in 2016 recommended that the original planning application for Roseacre be turned down on traffic safety grounds but Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he would be minded to allow fracking if a suitable traffic management plan could be devised. He reopened the inquiry set for April 10 at Blackpool Football Club.
Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, was one of several residents to speak at the meeting and was delighted with Fylde Council’s decision. She said: “We feel totally vindicated. For four years we have been saying that this site is unsuitable for a development of this nature with all the associated traffic including the largest of all HGVs.”
Meanwhile Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee is due to decide on the issue next Thursday. Planning officers have said HGVs servicing the site “would have unacceptable impacts on vulnerable road users and on highway safety in general.” They add roads are narrow with “many sharp bends with restricted visibility” and Cuadrilla’s mitigation plans would not work.
A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “Our expert transport consultants have concluded, and will demonstrate at the Public Inquiry in April, that the proposed routes can adequately and safely accommodate the level of traffic proposed in our application along with the existing car and lorry traffic they already safely handle.”
It’s original route which was from the A583 to the site via Clifton Lane, Dagger Road, Inskip Road and the Ministry of Defence radio facility. It also proposes using a route from the A585 at Singleton to the site via the B5269 Thistleton Road and Elswick High Street.