Anti-fracking protests at Thornton business park

Anti-fracking protesters brought traffic heading into an enterprise zone to a halt as they took their campaign on the road.

Friday, 5th May 2017, 5:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:32 pm
Protests continue in Preston New Road

A small group turned up at the Hillhouse Business Park in Thornton.It is understood they were protesting again the storage of material for fracking firm Cuadrilla’s drilling site in Preston New Road, near Blackpool.Protestors walked slowly along the main entrance road to the complex, which is home to several major chemicals firms.Video footage posted online also showed protesters climbing a pile of rubble within the site.Several men and women were photographed on the pile holding placards with anti-fracking slogans.Security staff were filmed removing the protesters from the mound.Bosses at Hillhouse, which was granted enterprise zone status last year, said protestors had been accompanied onto the site by security staff.They said the protest had passed without major incident.A spokesman said: “We were aware of the protest at the site this morning.“There is no fracking activity at Hilllhouse.“The group of protestors was accompanied onto the site by security.“This is a secure site and procedures have to be followed.“They walked slowly along the entrance road which did cause some issues for vehicles entering the site.“They were on the site for around an hour and were accompanied at all times.“There were no issues during their visit.”Lancashire police sent several officers to the scene.Three police cars and the force’s operational support unit were seen at the Hillhouse site.However the force said it had not been required.A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “The protest was taking place on private land.“We left it to the security staff to deal with the incident.”It is not known which firm the campaigners were targeting.Several companies who have carried out work for Cuadrilla have already been visited by protesters.Groups opposed to fracking – a controversial method of gas extraction which involves the injection of high pressure fluid to fracture rock – have spent months camped at Cuadrilla’s drilling site in Preston New Road and have carried our regular protests.

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