Date set for fracking appeal

Members of the Preston New Road Action Group
Members of the Preston New Road Action Group
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A date has been announced for the two appeal court hearings in the cases brought by protesters against the decisions to allow fracking at Preston New Road.

Two days has been set aside for the two appeals starting on August 30 at the Court of Appeal in London.

It follows Mr Justice Dove’s dismissal in April of the challenges to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to let fracking go ahead.

Cuadrilla has said it will carry on regardless with work on the site near Little Plumpton.

A Preston New Road Action Group spokesman said: “We hope and pray that justice will be delivered and that Sajid Javid’s decision will be found unlawful and quashed.

“Our community, Westby Parish Council, Fylde Borough Council and Lancashire County Council all refused this dangerous application, and for many good reasons.

“Local democracy was dismantled and overturned by central government, who seemingly wish to micro-manage decisions that are not theirs to make. We believe that this was unlawful and that Cuadrilla’s site development should be stopped.

“This case is no longer simply about fracking: it is about true justice and genuine democracy being delivered at local level.

“For this reason, we will continue with our strategy to challenge this decision on every level.”

A spokesman for shale gas exploration firm Cuadrilla said: “Cuadrilla will actively defend the appeals alongside the Government and remains confident that the planning consent will not be overturned.

“In the meantime Cuadrilla will be continuing with its operational work at the site as it has been granted all the necessary consents and permits to do so.

“This will include the drilling of two horizontal exploration wells although the hydraulic fracturing of those wells will not commence before the ruling of the Court of Appeal.”