Residents take Government to court over fracking decision


Preston New Road Action Group

27 AUGUST 2017

This week will see anti-fracking campaign group, Preston New Road Action Group, take their legal challenge over fracking in Lancashire to the Court of Appeal in London. Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 are the dates given by the court to hear both legal teams’ evidence, along with an additional challenge by a separate campaigner.

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 a judicial review at Manchester Court of Appeal earlier this year. Justice Dove dismissed the review, stating that none of the grounds argued were “made out in substance”.

A spokesperson from Preston New Road Action Group stated:

“We trust that the Secretary of State’s decision to allow fracking at Preston New Road will be found unsound, and Lancashire County Council’s original decision will be reinstated.

“Even before any fracking has commenced, the local community has been subjected to disruption. They have suffered stress due to the process and since work commenced on the site, their day-to-day lives have been disrupted by convoys of HGVs, a massive police presence and many road closures.

“Cuadrilla, far from being good neighbours, have already demonstrated their contempt for the local community and planning conditions meant to protect it. They have breached planning conditions by bringing the rig on to site during the night and have commenced drilling only days prior to the appeal being heard.

“People matter, communities matter. As has been demonstrated loudly and clearly over the last three years upwards, there is no social licence to frack at Preston New Road.”

Notes to the Editor

Court times to be confirmed Tuesday 29 August 2017 when sitting reconvenes.
Lancashire Campaigner Claire Stephenson and Dr Frank Rugman will next week, attend Public Health England to submit a petition for the review and update of Public Health England’s report on fracking and health in the UK. Date and time to be confirmed.

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