Fracking refused at second site in Lancashire

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Energy firm Cuadrilla applied to frack at Roseacre Wood

The government has refused planning permission for fracking at a second site in Lancashire.

Energy firm Cuadrilla’s application for Roseacre Wood was refused by the local council and was the subject of a public inquiry.

The company, already drilling at nearby Preston New Road, appealed.

But the secretary of state said highway safety issues have not been “satisfactorily addressed” and refused planning permission.

Cuadrilla said it was “naturally disappointed” with the decision.

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Friends of the Earth

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Anti-fracking campaigners staged a demonstration outside the public inquiry in Blackpool

Lancashire County Council refused permission to extract shale gas at both Roseacre Wood and Little Plumpton in 2015 on the grounds of noise and traffic impact, but Cuadrilla appealed.

In October 2016, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid approved plans for fracking at the Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton.

But the second proposed site, Roseacre Wood, was not given permission and Cuadrilla was told to “think again” about how Roseacre’s country lanes would cope with heavy lorries.

Cuadrilla submitted three revised routes for traffic, but Secretary of State James Brokenshire said “the proposed development would have a serious and very significant adverse impact on the safety of people using the public highway”.

‘Fantastic news’

A department letter added Mr Brokenshire “considers that it is not possible to conclude that the demonstrable harm associated with that issue would be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level”.

It said the “highway safety issues carry very substantial weight against the proposal” and therefore planning permission was refused.

Cuadrilla wanted to drill up to four wells at the site.

A spokesperson said: “We are naturally disappointed about the decision on Roseacre Wood and will examine the details in full before reaching a position.

“However, we continue to be focused on the shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, where we have recently released very encouraging flow test results from the UK’s first horizontal shale gas well.”

Jamie Peters, from Friends of the Earth, said the decision was “fantastic news that will come as a huge relief to Roseacre residents”.

“It’s also a triumph for the tireless campaigners who have worked long and hard for this outcome,” he added.