Fracking plans go public

New site Roseacre Wood and (below) Francis Egan from Cuadrilla
New site Roseacre Wood and (below) Francis Egan from Cuadrilla
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The public can have their chance to take a close look at the plans to drill for gas at a Fylde site.

Cuadrilla Resources submitted a planning application last week for permission to drill, frack and test gas flow at up to four wells at Roseacre Wood near Kirkham.

Final of the Young Engineers competition.  Francis Egan from Cuadrilla.

Final of the Young Engineers competition. Francis Egan from Cuadrilla.

The documents have been accepted by Lancashire County Council and are now open to public scrutiny.

It follows a similar bid at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton and both include an environmental impact assessment from consultants Arup.

However, opponents of fracking, which involves injecting high pressure water and chemicals into shale rock deep beneath the surface to release natural gas, say they will fight the bid.

A spokesman for Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) said: “The people of Roseacre are facing an environmental nightmare and we will be helping them object to this application just as we are objecting to the Preston New Road plans.

“On Saturday RAFF, together with 15 other local Lancashire groups, launched Frack Free Lancashire in Blackpool.

“People were queuing up to object to the Preston New Road plans and we collected more than 1,000 signatures.

“We expect the same response for the Roseacre plans.

“All of the groups will be seen out and about in towns and villages over the next few weeks collecting more signatures.

“For Arup to claim they can maintain the natural rural character of Roseacre is laughable – they are on the brink of industrialising the village and its surrounding area.

“We are about to see this industry starting on a massive scale in the Fylde and still only one of the Royal Society’s ten recommendations for the safe extraction of shale gas – all of which were accepted by the Government – has been implemented.

“The people of Lancashire are unprotected.”

But Cuadrilla’s chief executive Francis Egan said: “The planning application for Roseacre Wood – together with the Preston New Road application – are important milestones for Lancashire and the UK as we seek to unlock Lancashire’s considerable shale gas potential in a safe and sensible way.

“We’ve been working hard to incorporate, as far as reasonably practical, the feedback received and the applications include the changes we have made to our proposals as a result of the views expressed during our consultation with local residents, community groups and stakeholders.

“The end result is probably the two of the most comprehensive Environmental Statements ever completed for proposed shale gas exploration sites.”

Arup’s Project Director Des Correia said: “The Arup team has had an excellent level of engagement from the community around our Roseacre Wood site – from local 
residents to the parish council and other local stakeholders.

“Their contributions have helped us undertake both the Environmental Impact and Environmental Risk Assessments in tremendous detail, taking into account a huge range of issues including the vital importance of maintaining the natural rural character of the local landscape and assessing options for minimising the impact of additional transport.”