A LANDSCAPE expert told a public inquiry into fracking in Lancashire that operations at either proposed drilling site would not cause permanent significant damage to the visual character of the area.
Andrew Tampany was asked for his opinions on the impact that drilling rigs, fencing and other aspects of the proprosed shale gas operations would cause to the rural sites.
Mr Tampany was giving evidence in Blackpool on the fourth 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.
Chartered landscape architect Mr Tampany said he accepted that the 53-metre high drilling rigs would cause a temporary visual intrusion. But he said there would be no permanent harm to the landscape after restoration.
Operations at both sites are expected to cease after about six years.
He told the hearing the first phase would involve installing monitoring equipment, and the second an access road, and fencing .
The 53-metre high drilling rig would be next to arrive, later being replaced by a 36-metre rig.
He stressed that the sites were not permanent, and argued that Preston New Road was not completely rural because of the proximity of the motorway, pylons and other “urban influences”.
Speaking about both sites, he concluded: “None of the proposals will materially affect the key landscape characteristics.”
l A branch of Barclays bank at Lancaster University was occupied by protesters yesterday angry at the bank’s alleged investment in fracking, coal and tar sands..