Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Fracking: The Wild West Comes to the UK

An excellent TEDx talk by Emeritus Professor (Glasgow) David Smythe on fracking in the UK.

He exposes the fracking industry as being both unprofitable and environmentally damaging. He also describes how the industry has been misleading the public.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYCMrcjtBWg

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Lancashire County Council Unanimously Reject Cuadrilla’s Traffic Plans

cows on road

 

PRESS RELEASE

 Frack Free Lancashire

Lancashire County Council Unanimously Reject Cuadrilla’s Traffic Plans

 

For immediate release

Thursday 25 January 2018

Yesterday, Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee voted unanimously to reject Cuadrilla’s revised traffic proposals for the Roseacre Wood exploratory fracking site, and the committee will now submit evidence against Cuadrilla at the Public Inquiry in April 2018.

The councillors stated that all three proposed routes were unsafe and unsuitable for large HGVs and that public safety is paramount.

Having experienced travelling through all three routes, one councillor said he was appalled by what was being proposed; another stated he was totally unconvinced with the applicant’s case and their attempts at mitigation had actually made things worse. The councillors also stated that “locals know best” when it comes to deciding on large-scale applications.

Andy Rhodes, Lancashire Police’s Chief Constable also submitted a written objection to the planning committee, stating that the requirement of policing the Roseacre site would “place significant demands on Lancashire Constabulary’s resources”.

Chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, Barbara Richardson said:

“I can not believe we are still having to fight this after four years, when it has been rejected at every level; from the residents, all the parish councils, Fylde Borough Council, who by the way also voted emphatically and unanimously against the plans saying the impacts would be severe, LCC’s Highways and Planning Officers, and our two Conservative MPs.

“These poorly-devised mitigation measures actually make matters worse putting even more lives at risk.  It is not about ‘if’ a serious accident occurs but ‘when’.

“The Planning Inspector said when rejecting the previous plans that:

‘The national need for shale gas exploration cannot be pleaded in support of this appeal …the need to ensure the safety of members of the public is paramount and would strongly      outweigh that important consideration’.
“It is time Cuadrilla accepted defeat and stop trying to override the democratic decision by trying to explore for shale gas in totally unsuitable location which puts people’s lives in danger. They seem to disregard the safety of our residents in their pursuit of profit. Enough is enough.

“Perhaps the UK just isn’t large enough to accommodate a full-blown unconventional, onshore shale gas industry after all.

“We will continue to fight this application every step of the way and look forward to presenting evidence again at the Public Inquiry alongside LCC and the parish councils.”
ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

  1. Cuadrilla began work at their Preston New Road (PNR) site in Lancashireat the beginning of January 2017, following Sajid Javid MP and central government overturning Lancashire County Council’s refusal of planning permission for Cuadrilla’s fracking applications at PNR and Roseacre Wood. Heavy protests by local groups have been continuous since January of 2017 and will be ongoing for the foreseeable future.
  1. Image attached of a rural road around Roseacre village, Lancashire.
  1. For all further enquiries and information, please contact Barbara Richardson (07918) 106875

United Resistance – April 2018

In Lancashire, the United Resistance group, launched in January 2018 , is promising three months of non-violent direct actions starting in April against Cuadrilla’s fracking plans near Blackpool.

Cuadrilla claims that it will carry out its first frack in April.  United Resistance will begin on Easter Monday (2 April 2018). On the following day, Tuesday 3rd April, when the trucks are rolling we will launch non-violent direct actions that will carry us through three incredibly important months.

A Facebook page is available for current information.

 

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All women strategy meeting at Maple Farm

Fracking Challenges Fail in Lancashire: Campaigners to Fight On

PRESS RELEASE

12 January 2018

Frack Free Lancashire today expressed deep disappointment that two high court challenges brought by local campaign groups against the Secretary of State and Cuadrilla, have failed in their attempts to halt drilling in Lancashire

In 2015, Lancashire County Council democratically refused planning permission for Cuadrilla’s application to carry out exploratory hydraulic fracturing at Preston New Road, on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.

Cuadrilla subsequently appealed to the Secretary of State, who in October 2016, controversially overturned the local council’s decision and gave Cuadrilla the go-ahead for planning permission. An ongoing legal battle has continued since then, with the campaign group, Preston New Road Action Group, bringing a judicial review at Manchester Court of Appeal earlier this year and a subsequent appeal at the High Court in London.

Lord Justice Simon, Lord Justice Lindblom and Lord Justice Henderson today handed down the decision at the High Court in London, dismissing both cases.

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“We are hugely disappointed that these appeals were dismissed today. We remain resolute and determined to counter and challenge any plans for fracking in Lancashire and beyond, and additionally, continuing to support those communities who are subjected to this industry being forced upon them.

“Public opposition to this filthy technology continues to grow, as does ourwillpower to fight this insidious industry which poses far too many risks to our health, environment and ultimately our climate change targets.

“The fight continues.”

ENDS

  1. For further information, please contact a member of the Frack Free Lancashire media team.

Time running out to respond to Cuadrilla’s revised traffic management plans for Roseacre

If you haven’t done so already please take a few minutes to respond to Cuadrilla’s revised traffic manangement plans for Roseacre. The consultation closes on 10 January.

The consultation on a revised transport route strategy and related environmental information can be found here.

You can email or post your comments. Some pointers to comments you might like to raise are available on the Frack Free Lancashire website.

All representations should be emailed to devcon@lancashire.gov.uk
or in writing to:

Development Management Group
Lancashire County Council
PO Box 100, County Hall
Pitt Street
Preston PR1 0LD

Quoting appeal reference: (APP/Q2371/W/15/3134385)

It would be wise to copy your responses to  the Planning Inspectorate – contact:

Leanne Palmer
Major Casework
Planning Inspectorate
3 / O, TQH,
2 The Square, Bristol,
BS1 6PN

leanne.palmer@pins.gsi.gov.uk

 

http://frackfreelancashire.org/actions-to-take/

Frack Free Groups Mark One Year in Lancashire Without Fracking

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FRACK FREE GROUPS MARK ONE YEAR

IN LANCASHIRE WITHOUT FRACKING

05 JANUARY 2018

For immediate release 

Over 250 local residents and visitors from other communities under threat of fracking, gathered on the Fylde Coast today, marking a full year of resolute opposition to Cuadrilla’s operations at the Preston New Road site.

Representatives of groups from Cumbria, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Somerset joined Frack Free Lancashire in a demonstration of solidarity to mark the first anniversary of the start of Cuadrilla’s development of the fracking well pad.

Although the event was called Black Friday, there was a carnival atmosphere with music and speeches, with local police and protesters mingling on the road.

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“It has been a full year now since Cuadrilla started work on this pad. A year in which there has been a continual presence of local people at the side of the road, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

“A year in which residents have been witnesses to what is happening on and around the site. This has ensured that Cuadrilla is aware, in no uncertain terms, of the growing discontent of the local community as they have continued their uphill struggle to force this industry upon an unwilling community.

“A year in which, in spite of a lot of promises, Cuadrilla have disappointed their investors by failing to frack a single well. Frack Free Lancashire have stood united and proud against this unwelcome industry for a full year and will continue to do so for as long as it takes.”

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

1.     A high-resolution photograph from the event can be downloaded from Frack Free Lancashire here.

Anti-fracking campaigner cycles from Spain to Lancashire to raise awareness of fracking and climate change

Simon-Peter

FRACK FREE LANCASHIRE

PRESS RELEASE

ANTI-FRACKING CAMPAIGNER CYCLES FROM SPAIN TO LANCASHIRE TO RAISE AWARENESS OF FRACKING AND CLIMATE CHANGE

4 DECEMBER 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

An anti-fracking campaigner from Nelson will today arrive at the Preston New Road fracking site, following a 750-mile cycle journey from Southern Spain, raising awareness for a clean energy future without the need for fracking.

Leaving with just a bike and a trailer, 50-year-old Simon Peter began his mission from El Mar Menor, close to Murcia, on October 13 2017, travelling through the Basque region to Bilbao, where he travelled by ferry to carry on his cycle journey to Lancashire.

Simon has had several delays, incurring dozens of inevitable tyre punctures and damage to his bike and trailer, but has persisted and carried on with his journey.

Simon stated:

“My Wake Up Cycling Call isn’t all about fracking – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m planning to continue and cycle Scandinavia and then Africa and back again, but under more planned circumstances. This journey, I just felt I needed to do now – to go to Preston New Road fracking site to see for myself and learn what’s going on there.”

Simon travelled to Spain in April, to learn Spanish before his journey began, refusing to speak English whilst travelling through Spanish regions. He has found the locals incredibly helpful with directions: he also refused to use GPS so he could maximise his use of the language to stop and ask for help.

During his travels through Spain, Simon was impressed with the warm hospitality and charity of the country, being offered extra nights for free in hostels and even a free bike from a shop in Valencia to carry on his mission.

Simon’s cycle crusade has all been about highlighting the environmental crisis we’re currently facing, with climate change impacting the world around us. He told the Pendle News:

“I just can’t sit back. I started at a place called El Mar Menor as it’s a beautiful lagoon, a unique ecosystem, collapsing with problems of contaminated waters. Ten years ago I visited El Mar Menor [for the] first time and the waters were transparent and clear with beautiful swarms of fish. Today is a different story: the water has changed colour and 70% of the vegetation and fish have died.”

Simon is expecting to arrive at the Preston New Road fracking site on the afternoon of Monday 4 December, where his cycle journey will end.

ENDS
 

Cuadrilla releases revised traffic plans for Roseacre Wood

With typical disregard for residents, Cuadrilla has released its revised traffic plans to the press but not to residents.  Roseacre Awareness Group has reacted angrily to the new plans, claiming that a further five communities will be affected by the the new routes and will risk even more people’s lives. The plans also include the creation of a large number of passing places, as well as the installation of new traffic lights.

In June 2015, Lancashire County Council refused planning permission for Roseacre Wood because of traffic management concerns. Wendy McKay, the Inspector of the Public Inquiry held the following year, supported LCC’s views – but Savid Javis, the Tory Communities Secretary, said he was ‘minded’ to give permission to Cuadrilla if they could come up with alternative traffic plans.

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Blue Route: The original route from the A584 at Clifton, along Dagger Road and Salwick Road, and either through the defence site DHFCS Inskip site or the village of Wharles

Green Route: New route from the A585 north of the site, through the villages of Thistleton, Elswick and Roseacre

Red Route: New route from the A585 north of the site, through the villages of Thistleton, Elswick, Crossmoor and Inskip and either through DHFCS Inskip or the village of Wharles.

Details of the plans are available on Cuadrilla’s website.

A public consultation on Cuadrilla’s Traffic Management Plans is open until 10 January 2018. If you wish to make a representation in respect of the revised transport route strategy and related environmental information, please submit it by email to devcon@lancashire.gov.uk or in writing to: Development Management Group, Lancashire County Council, PO Box 100, County Hall, Pitt Street, Preston PR1 0LD by the 10th January 2018 quoting the appeal reference number (APP/Q2371/W/15/3134385).

The public inquiry is provisionally scheduled to start at 10am on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 at Blackpool Football Club. It is expected to sit for eight days (Tuesday-Friday). Inquiry website.

Please do contact LLC. These roads and villages are totally unsuitable for HGVs. Plus, if these plans do get passed by the government, we know from what has happened at the Preston New Road site that there will be numerous breaches by Cuadrilla as the company implements traffic management changes to best suit itself.

Further information is available at Drill or Drop.

Breaking: INEOS Fracking Injunction Continues

Judge Justice Morgan has ruled that an injunction obtained against anti-fracking protesters by INEOS Shale should continue.

Drill or Drop says:

Mr Justice Morgan ruled that the interim injunction should remain in place. A future trial would be needed to make it permanent.

Mr Justice Morgan said he wanted to change some of the wording to the order to clarify what it covered. He has removed a clause in the original order preventing harassment of INEOS staff and contractors. We’ll have more details of the order when it is available.

The case has been seen as a test of rights to protest and is regarded as important because it may encourage other companies to take similar action aginst opponents of their activities.

INEOS sought the original injunction in July after saying it faced “a real and imminent risks of being targeted by unlawful protests”.

The company, which has yet to be granted planning permission for shale gas exploration, said the injunction aimed to prevent unlawful activity, not curtail lawful protest.

The order is directed against “persons unknown” and prohibited them from interfering with the lawful activities of INEOS staff and contractors. People who breached the order risk prison or having their assets seized.

It specifically named two protest techniques used by anti-fracking campaigners: slow walking in front of deliveries and climbing on top of vehicles, known as lorry surfing.

The slow walking clause was a key issue during previous hearings. Some police forces regularly facilitate slow walking protests at fracking sites. Campaigners have been acquitted of allegedly obstructing the highway during these protests. Slow walking, “lorry surfing” and unlawful obstruction of the highway without unreasonable excuse remain in the order.

Campaigners Joe Corre, son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Joe Boyd, argued that order breached human rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

They said it was unnecessary and based on flimsy evidence that over-stated or misrepresented the risk.

The order threatened law-abiding people and was already having an “impermissible chilling effect” on the rights to protest, they said.

The full Judgment can be read here.

 

Netpol report raises serious concerns around the policing of anti-fracking protests

Frack Free Lancashire

PRESS RELEASE

NETPOL REPORT RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS AROUND THE POLICING OF ANTI-FRACKING PROTESTS

 A report published today by Netpol, a collective of activists, campaigners, lawyers and researchers, working together to challenge disproportionate policing of protests and of communities, has raised serious concerns about the policing of anti-fracking protests nationwide, but particularly in Lancashire.

Citing concerns about collusion between fracking companies, the government and the police; disproportionate and inconsistent policing and the police’s public relations strategy which appears to be designed to divide communities, Netpol has called for an urgent review by the National Police Chief’s Council on the guidelines for the policing of fracking protests.

As Green MEP Keith Taylor explains:

“If local residents are beginning to question whether officers are working to protect them or just the interests of the oil and gas industry, the notion of consent has broken down – and trust must be repaired”

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire commented:

“Since Cuadrilla started work we have continually expressed concern about the way in which Lancashire Police have facilitated their work, but have not given equal weight to the right to protest of those opposed to the fracking operations.

“We are fighting a David versus Goliath battle against an invasive industry and yet the current policing model has created a skewed narrative that it is protesters versus the police. Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, we need the police to protect our hard-won civil right to protest, but this is simply not happening.

“We are fighting a David versus Goliath battle against an invasive industry and yet the current policing model has created a skewed narrative that it is protesters versus the police. Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, we need the police to protect our hard-won civil right to protest, but this is simply not happening.
“Instead we face inconsistent and oppressive policing, from forces from all around the country, which use legislation intended for industrial disputes to criminalise citizens who have explored all other legitimate means of protest and have seen fracking imposed upon them in spite of a democratic decision to forbid it.

“We once again call upon our MP, Mark Menzies, to recognise the importance of this issue for all of the community that he represents and to ask some serious questions in parliament.”

ENDS

 

Notes to the Editor:

  1. Protecting the Planet is Not a Crime: A NETPOL REPORT ON THE POLICING OF ANTI-FRACKING PROTESTS DURING 2017 
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