Fracking near Preston is to become a reality as the government overturned a decision made by Lancashire County Council.Advertisement
Communities secretary Sajid Javid has said Cuadrilla can frack at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton.
The county council had refused the application saying the impact of noise and traffic would be too great on the area.
Cuadrilla’s appeal about the Roseacre Wood site, a second location, is being considered by the government in relation to highways safety issues. But Mr Javid said he was ‘minded to allow the appeal’.
Lancashire county councils cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services said: “This was one of the biggest planning applications ever put before any council – literally tens of thousands of people responded to the consultation processes, and the applications involved substantial levels of technical detail.
“Our development control committee carefully considered many hours of evidence both for and against the proposal, and the committee members ultimately cast their vote based on the evidence they heard and whether they thought the proposal was acceptable in planning terms.
“A local council, made up of councillors democratically elected by local people, and charged with serving their interests, is exactly the right body to make decisions on local matters. It is clear that the government supports the development of a shale gas industry, but I would ask them to do more to address the concerns of local communities and the councillors who represent them by supporting the best environmental controls.
“The Secretary of State’s decision to allow more time to consider issues related to highway safety around the Roseacre site reflects the committee’s concerns on this issue. We will now await information from the applicant on the details required to fulfil the planning conditions set out for the Preston New Road site.”
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