New delay on fracking decision

Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian''Cuadrilla Resources near Preston, Lancashire on 26th of August, 2011. Fracking Stock
Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian''Cuadrilla Resources near Preston, Lancashire on 26th of August, 2011. Fracking Stock
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The crucial decision of whether to alllow fracking to take place at two sites on the Fylde has been put back yet again.

Lancashire County Council has agreed with Cuadrilla to extend the time allowed to decide the planning applications for shale gas development to 30 April to allow for consultation on new information.

It means planning officers will have more time to consider the energy company’s measures to cut down on noise at the proposed Preston New Road fracking site near Little Plumpton and noise and traffic issues at the Roseacre site.

The county council’s Development Control Committee decided last week to defer decisions on applications by Cuadrilla to drill, frack and test gas flows, plus associated separate applications for environmental monitoring at the two sites after the company asked them to consider new proposals to reduce the impact of noise and traffic, issues which had resulted in planning officers recommending refusal of the two planning permission applications just days ahead of a three day hearing at County Hall.

Following the officers’ recommendations, Cuadrilla had immediately come back with new measures and the decision was postponed on the morning of the hearing even though both supporters and opponents of fracking had spent time and effort preparing presentations.

The county council has said that all interested parties who had registered would get their chance to speak at the resumed hearing.

A statement from the county council said: “The council’s planners are currently considering the new information on noise and traffic and will hold a further consultation with regulators and the public before putting their recommendations to the committee.

“Dates for the consultation and the meetings at which the Development Control Committee will decide the application will be announced in due course.”