`

Planning inquiry into second fracking site looms

Roseacre Wood where a second fracking site may be constructed if a planning inquiry grants permission
Roseacre Wood where a second fracking site may be constructed if a planning inquiry grants permission

Battle lines are set to be drawn once more as the fracking debate goes before a re-opened public planning inquiry.

Shale gas exploration firm Cuadrilla is bidding to drill and test frack on land at Roseacre Wood after a previous application was refused due to safety fears surrounding HGVs using narrow country lanes to get to the site.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javed said he would be minded to allow the fracking if a suitable transport management plan could be devised and he re-opened the inquiry.

Opponents of fracking, Lancashire County Council, which also refused permission to frack in the county, and Cuadrilla will present evidence at Blackpool Football Club starting on Tuesday.

Cuadrilla has come up with a plan which would involve spreading the traffic across three routes to the site with more than 30 passing places installed along the lanes.

Barbara Richardson, chairman of Roseacre Awareness Group, who will be presenting evidence opposing the revised traffic plans on behalf of residents and seven parish and town councils, said: “These fracking plans have been rejected at every level from the residents to our parish, borough and county council.

"We are a small community and it has taken us thousands of hours of unpaid work and tens of thousands of pounds, but we are determined to fight this to the bitter end.”

A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “Our expert transport consultants have concluded, and will demonstrate at the inquiry, that the proposed new route strategy and associated traffic management plan can more than adequately and safely accommodate the level of traffic proposed.”