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Lancashire councillors reject Cuadrilla fracking bid

Lancashire County Council has denied planning consent for Cuadrilla’s application to drill, fracture and flow test up to four wells at Roseacre Wood.

The council’s Development Control Committee members voted unanimously to reject the application due to traffic concerns. The rejection follows a report from the council’s planning officers which advised refusal of the application.

However, the planning officers delivered a positive recommendation for Cuadrilla’s separate application to extract shale gas at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

The final decision regarding the Preston New Road site has been deferred until Monday.

In a statement responding to the announcement, Cuadrilla said: “We are disappointed but not surprised that Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee has denied planning consent for our application at Roseacre Wood, as their decision follows a negative recommendation by the council’s planning officers…We will now take time to consider our options, including our right to appeal.

“After a year since our application was submitted to the council, the planning officers cited just one reason of traffic concerns for giving a negative recommendation. We remain confident that our original proposed route, together with the proposed road improvements and traffic management plan, was safe and suitable for the modest level of HGV journeys proposed and met all necessary guidelines.”

The company added: “We completed the most comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessments ever carried out for operations of this kind. These assessments are the product of thousands of hours of work from independent expert environmental scientists and other engineering specialists and they demonstrate beyond question that the operations can and will be conducted safely and without damage to people’s health or their environment. This view was supported by the planning officer’s report which only cited traffic concerns as a potential issue.”

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