Fracking for shale gas can now start in Lancashire after an ongoing legal battle has failed.Advertisement
Two wells have been drilled by energy firm Cuadrilla at its Preston New Road site.
Environmentalists have repeatedly protested in objection to fracking at the site due to the potential environmental impacts .
An injunction and judicial review had been put in to the courts by campaigner Bob Dennett and the company were forced to stop its work.
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However, the High Court has now given the go ahead for the fracking, despite Dennett’s argument that Lancashire County Council had not properly assessed the risks.
Fracking is expected to start on Saturday.
A spokesperson Frack Free Lancashire said: “The court decision is hugely disappointing. Our local councillors have been demanding information about emergency procedures for months now and fracking is about to begin at the site.
“The case was all about the failure of Lancashire County Council to provide adequate Emergency Evacuation procedures, and have public consultation and communication into Civil Contingency plans in the event of an explosion or gas leak at the Preston New Road fracking site.
“Given that an emergency situation at the site could impact health, threaten natural resources, or require evacuation, and particularly with the close proximity of a number of schools, it is unthinkable that Lancashire County Council or our government should have considered allowing Cuadrilla to go ahead with fracking without the local community being fully aware of what would happen in the event of an accident on site.
“The recent pipeline explosion in British Columbia resulted in an evacuation zone extending over several kilometres – there were just 100 people in that area: in the equivalent zone near the PNR site there would be thousands if not tens of thousands.
“Cuadrilla can now carry on regardless, ignoring the urgent warning issued this week by the IPCC about the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but all of the fracking companies need to know that fracking will never get a foothold in the UK because they will meet resistance at every stage of their projects.”
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “We welcome the decision from the High Court judge to reject an Interim Injunction at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. Cuadrilla can finally commence with the exploration stage of the process and assess the long-term viability of commercial gas production, which could be of significant national importance”.
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