MP's objections ahead of new fracking inquiry

A Fylde coast MP has voiced his opposition to the bid to test drill for shale gas at a second site in the area.

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 11:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 11:20 am
The proposed routes that Cuadrilla wants to use to get its trucks to the Roseacre Wood drill site.

Mark Menzies has written to Lancashire County Council to oppose the application to frack at Roseacre Wood, which goes before a second planning inspector in April.

And he has written to the Energy Minister expressing his concerns about the number of wells which may appear across the area if fracking is successful.

Mr Menzies said: “I objected to the Roseacre Wood site in the first instance, and have done so again ahead of this appeal.

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies

“The roads are simply unsuitable for the level of traffic necessary for that site, regardless of the mitigation offered.

“This is part of the ongoing dialogue I have with the Government over shale gas; last year I questioned the Government more than any other MP or Lord on the matter and I will continue to raise issues on behalf of my constituents to ensure we get the best regulatory regime in place, should a shale gas industry go ahead.

“I also wrote to the Government asking for regulations to be put in place to limit the number of shale gas well sites that can be placed in an area.

“Lancashire County Council, the planning authority on shale gas for Fylde, is able to set the distance of separation between sites through existing planning laws.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies

“We need to see stringent rules put in place by the county authority to govern the number of sites allowed.

“And its officers must object to sites should they contravene those rules.”

Barbara Richardson said: “We are pleased he has raised his objection to Cuadrilla’s revised Traffic Plan and hope it carries weight with the new planning inspector.

FFL will continue to oppose any attempts to impose fracking on unwilling communities in Lancashire due to the inherent risks to people's health, the environment and climate change.

"In the case of Roseacre Wood, Cuadrilla's planning application (to explore for shale gas) has been rejected at every level from residents, both parish and borough councils, LCC's Highways Officer, LCC's Planning Officer, LCC's Development Control Committee and finally by the government's own appointed, independent Planning Inspector, Wendy McKay."

She said the new transport management plan from Cuadrilla did not, in her opinion, improve road safety matters since the previous application was rejected.

But Cuadrilla said the new plans would show that their vehicles and current road users could use the country lanes safely.

A spokesman said: "Our expert transport consultants have concluded, and will demonstrate at the Public Inquiry in April, that the proposed routes can adequately and safely accommodate the level of traffic proposed in our application along with the existing car and lorry traffic they already safely handle.”