Councillors in Lancashire have turned down the latest of multiple applications from Cuadrilla for more time to restore a shale gas site near the Ribble Estuary. The county council’s development control committee voted instead this morning for enforcement action against the company for not returning the Becconsall site to farmland by the agreed time [pic from Frack Off].
The deadline for restoring the site, which is in the Green Belt and next to an internationally-important wildfowl reserve, had previously been reset by the council four times. Councillors said the decision, which went against the advice of planning officers, was to prevent further harm to agriculture and anxiety to local people. Members of a local campaign group applauded when the vote was taken.
Theresa May on fracking at PMQs “I think shale gas does have the potential to power economic growth in this country. I think it will support thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industries and in other sectors and it will provide a new domestic energy source and we have more than 50 years of drilling experience in the UK and one of the best records in the world for economic development while protecting our environment.
“The shale wealth fund is going to provide up to one million pounds of additional resources to local communities. Local councils are going to be able to retain 100% of the business rates they collect from shale gas developments. We will be bringing further proposals in relation to this during this parliament because this is an important source of new energy and I think it is right that we ensure that we use this and take the benefits of it for our economy, for jobs and for people’s futures”.
A week earlier Dennis Skinner MP asked for seismic surveys in his constituency to stop as there was intermittent discoloured mains water being produced. This was denied by INEOS.
In a letter to the government [click to read] nine environmental organisations have told the government they have “growing concerns” about the fracking process. The groups, including Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Campaign for National Parks, Wildfowl and Wetland Trust and WWF, wrote to the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, saying fracking threatened UK commitments to tackle climate change. Mr Clark is expected to give the final go-ahead imminently for fracking at Third Energy’s well at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.