Battle lines have been drawn at an inquiry which will determine the future of fracking in Lancashire.
Protesters both for and against shale gas extraction gathered outside Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road ground yesterday for the first day of a public inquiry.
What happens in Lancashire impacts all British communities facing this threat
Lancashire County Council rejected Cuadrilla’s applications to drill and test at Roseacre and Preston New Road near Little Plumpton last year.
If Cuadrilla gets the go-ahead to drill, frack and test gas flows at the two sites, it will have huge repercussions for the development of a shale gas industry in the UK.
Residents say it would have a huge impact on their lives as they fear industrialisation of rural areas, plus possible damage to their environment, health and quality of life.
Supporters of fracking say a developed industry could bring benefits through taxes, an increase in jobs and skills, and energy security.