Local Government Turns Down Second Cuadrilla Application
Lancashire County Council turned down Cuadrilla's application to drill, fracture and flow test up to four wells at Preston New Road, in a decision that represents a setback for the Government and its hopes to trigger a full-fledged shale gas industry in the United Kingdom.
‘We are surprised and disappointed that Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee has denied planning consent for our application to explore for shale gas at Preston New Road, particularly as their decision follows a positive recommendation by the Council’s Planning Officers’ Cuadrilla wrote on Monday.
As done last week in relation to a similar decision for the Roseacre Wood application, the company confirmed its commitment to exploration in the region.
‘We remain committed to the responsible exploration of the huge quantity of natural gas locked up in the shale rock deep underneath Lancashire. We will now take time to consider our options regarding an appeal for Preston New Road, along with also considering appeals for the planning applications recently turned down, against Officer advice, for monitoring and site restoration at Grange Hill, and last week’s decision to refuse the Roseacre Wood application.’
According to environmentalists, the decision is a final blow to David Cameron’s hopes.
“This decision is a Waterloo for the fracking industry and a triumph for local democracy. It's also a huge boost for efforts to kick the UK’s addiction to dangerous fossil fuels. Lancashire councillors deserve huge praise for standing up to the relentless pressure from the fracking lobby and their minister friends. Their decision sends a powerful signal to other councils that the fracking juggernaut can indeed be stopped” Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands commented on Monday.
Last week, Lancashire County councillors decided to postpone a decision on Cuadrilla's shale plan for Preston New Road in north-west England till Monday.