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Secretary of State to decide on fracking appeal

Posted on - 27th November, 2015 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Campaigns, News, Observations, People, Politics
Anti-Fracking demonstrators from across the UK gather in Preston the headquarters of Lancashire County Council. Councillors are debating whether to give the go-ahead to two applications to Frack in the County by energy firm Caudrilla

Anti-Fracking demonstrators from across the UK gather in Preston in June 2015

Greg Clark

Greg Clark

News that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark informed Lancashire County Council of his intent on Thursday of this week has only confirmed what residents against fracking thought might happen and say they fear that given the government’s stance of the decision being theirs, it appears that local opinion is being disregarded completely. Mr Clark is using the “recovery” procedure which allows the Secretary of State to decide the outcome following the appeal rather a government planning inspector.

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Energy firm Cuadrilla is appealing against the council’s refusal in June to allow fracking on two sites.

Cuadrilla’s appeal against Lancashire County Council’s decision to reject its plans for fracking will be heard in February by planning inspector Wendy McKay. Essentially, McKay will only be able to add her recommendations to the appeal report and hand it over to the government to allow the secretary of state to make the final decision.

Donna Hume, senior energy campaigner from Friends of the Earth said: “People in Lancashire, and anywhere threatened by fracking, will be very worried that the government’s determination to pursue fracking could come at the cost of ignoring local democracy, and the concerns of local people. ”

Cuadrilla said it “noted” the decision and “looked forward” to presenting its case at the appeals next year.

What do you think of the decision about fracking being left to the government? Let us know in the comments below.

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