Fracking firm Caudrilla have announced they intend to carry out exploratory drilling in Preston despite being denied permission by Lancashire County Council
The initial planning applications to begin hydraulic fracturing for shale gas at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood in Lancashire were refused by the county council. Caudrilla have since appealed the decision and are now waiting on the outcome.
Despite the plans being refused and the appeal still pending a decision, Caudrilla have decided to carry out exploratory drilling at both sites anyway, to test the ground water conditions will be suitable for the fracking process.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Ken Hartley tables motion to Pendle Council on the threat from Cuadrilla
The motion reads:
This Council notes with concern that the Oil and Shale gas energy firm Cuadrilla has announced its intention to immediately commence exploratory drilling for Ground Water Monitoring at The Preston New Road site in Lancashire and indicates that it is about to announce the same activity for the neighbouring site at Roseacre Wood.
Despite permission for fracking activity being refused during the planning process by Lancashire County Council and in the absence of an appeal decision by the planning inspectorate, Cuadrilla states it intends to determine the baseline Ground Water conditions at both sites in advance of the appeal decision.
The Council also notes that under the latest round of licensing issued by the Government in December 2015, Osprey Petroleum is the recipient of an exploratory licence for Grid Block SD 83 which includes areas of Pendle including Nelson, Higham, Fence, Barrowford and the Waterside area of Colne.
Recognizing previous motions to Council, which reject Fracking in Pendle, this Council resolves to express its grave concerns to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government that such monitoring activity, including drilling, is being allowed as “Permitted Development”.
In addition, this Council calls upon our Local Member of Parliament to support the Council position on fracking and use his influence in Westminster and elsewhere to ensure that no such activity is undertaken in Pendle.
Councillor Hartley said: “The prospect of drilling for fracking in Pendle is getting closer. It is time that the companies concerned came clean and told us what they are planning to do and when.”
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