Villagers question fracking bosses

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Villagers debated the pros and cons of fracking at the first of two consultation events.

The drop-in session, held at the Freckleton Sports and Social Club, was hosted by Cuadrilla, which is currently applying to drill a new shale gas exploration well close to nearby Clifton Business Park.

Residents examine plans during the Cuadrilla Public Information Day at Freckleton Sports and Social Club.

Residents examine plans during the Cuadrilla Public Information Day at Freckleton Sports and Social Club.

Residents were able to ask questions of the company’s staff, as well as read more on its plans for hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ –which involves extracting gas by use of deep drilling and high pressure water and chemcials.

Colin and Dorothy Barker, of Mill View, Freckleton, were among those to attend.

Mrs Barker, 70, said: “There’s an awful lot of information about the exploratory well but I don’t feel informed fully about what could happen through the next bit of the process.”

Mr Barker, 69, said: “At the moment I’ve got no particular objection, it’ll be a different matter if they start driving it beyond this though.”

Pamela Winlow, a Newton parish councillor, said: “What worries me is those that might come after Cuadrilla.

“We wouldn’t be needing all this gas if the Government had invested in renewable energy though.”

Protesters from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) and Frack Free Fylde leafleted outside the club.

Ian Roberts, from RAFF, said: “There are huge questions about the process.

“We should be putting all our energy into sustainable, clean energy for the future.”

Executives from Cuadrilla and planning consultants Arup will be on hand at Elswick Village Hall today between 5pm and 8pm to talk to residents about the environmental risk assessment process and invite them to highlight any issues they might have about the process.

Cuadrilla Resources has wells drilled at sites at Singleton, Preese Hall, near Weeton, Anna’s Road,Westby.

‘We just here to keep people informed’

Leon Jennings, health and safety director at Cuadrilla, was among those from the company answering questions.

He said: “It’s been very positive, we’ve had some very good questions asked and I’m really pleased with that.

“We’re not here to convince, we’re just here to give people the right information so they can go away better informed.”

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