Lancashire council defers Cuadrilla fracking decision for at least eight weeks amidst huge protests

Posted on - 28th January, 2015 - 4:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Campaigns, Preston News

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The decision on whether fracking would be given the go-ahead in Lancashire was deferred today, as expected.

Shale Gas explorers Cuadrilla revised their request following a report that recommended not allowing fracking to take place in the county.

The substantial new information on the application means there is a legal obligation to consult further before making a decision.

The delay has not been welcome news with councilors unhappy at being pushed into the move.

“I do this with the heaviest of hearts,” said Marcus Johnstone. “I have deep concern that the uncertainty for the communities will continue.”

Paul Hayhurst, said: “Many people’s health is suffering from the work they have had to put in and the worry.”

Steven Holgate said: “I am downright angry.”

Then referencing a letter sent by George Osborne that urges “rapid progress” on fracking, he said: “There are too many people digging their fingers into affairs that are not theirs.”

A decision is now not expected for at least eight weeks.

Cuadrilla believe the right decision has been made.

A spokesperson said: “The additional information we have provided on further mitigation measures will, we believe, fully address the noise and traffic concerns … There will now be an opportunity for the public to properly review and comment on this. We remain committed to the exploration of shale gas in Lancashire.”

The meeting took place as huge protests took place outside the Lancashire County Council meeting.

Vast crowds gathered to protest fracking over a variety of concerns that include the effect on the environment, noise, traffic and risk to the health of the public with a potential contamination of the water supply.

A procession of tractors passed the building as part of the protest and Bez of the Happy Mondays also joined the protests.

A smaller meeting took place yesterday to show support for fracking.

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