Fylde braces itself for new fracking D-Day

Happy Monday's dancer and anti-fracking campaigner Bez at the anti-fracking protest at County Hall, Preston
Happy Monday's dancer and anti-fracking campaigner Bez at the anti-fracking protest at County Hall, Preston
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Residents are preparing themselves for fracking D-Day after new dates were set to decide on whether shale gas development can go ahead on the Fylde.

Lancashire County Council’s development control committee will look at energy company Cuadrilla Resource’s bid to drill and test frack for gas at sites near Preston New Road at Little Plumpton and at 
Roseacre next month.

The former hearing is set for June 23 and 24, the latter for June 25 and 26. Both will be at County Hall, Preston.

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said they would work hard to get their presentations ready.

She said: “Sadly we will not get to see the planning officers’ reports until June 16, which does not give us much time to respond to any new issues. It is in the middle of the holiday period so we will lose some of our expert speakers.”

Pat Davies, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “We are grateful the dates are finally through for this application to be determined.

“However, having presented our evidence to Council in January on why this application should be rejected on clear planning grounds, the community has endured months more of delays and anxiety as a result of Cuadrilla asking for a deferment.

“Since January large amounts of new evidence has come through, all of which adds weight to the concerns of the community.”

Anti-frackers claim shale gas development poses a threat to the Lancashire environment, wildlife and health and safety.

But a Cuadrilla spokesman said: “We are looking forward to a final determination by the county council for both of our planning applications submitted in mid-2014.

“We now have all the necessary environmental permits in place for both sites and a positive planning determination would allow us to carry out the exploratory work necessary to confirm the viability of the huge volumes of natural gas locked up in the shale rock deep beneath Lancashire.”

Reports to be considered will be published at www.lancashire.gov.uk on June 16.