Decision date on fracking put back by Lancashire council chiefs

Fracking protest: Happy Mondays' Bez with campaigners outside County Hall

Fracking protest: Happy Mondays' Bez with campaigners outside County Hall

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Lancashire County Council chiefs have agreed with Cuadrilla to extend the time they are allowed to consider the firm’s applications to “frack”at sites in the county.

The authority will now have to consider the two bids by April 30.

The new deadline is to allow for consultation on new information mainly relating to noise and traffic.

The council’s Development Control Committee decided to defer decisions on applications by Cuadrilla to develop two sites in Lancashire last month after the company asked them to consider new proposals to reduce the impact of noise and traffic.

The applications are to drill, frack, and test gas flows, with associated separate applications for environmental monitoring, at two sites in Lancashire – Preston New Road at Little Plumpton, and Roseacre Wood at Roseacre.

The council’s planners are currently considering the new information and will hold a further consultation with regulators and the public before putting their recommendations to the committee.

The deadline dates for the consultation and the dates of the Development Control Committee meetings to decide the applications will be announced in due course.

A Cuadrilla spokesman welcomed the extension.

He added: “This will ensure that proper consideration is given to the additional information we have provided on further mitigation measures to fully address the noise and traffic concerns raised by the Planning Officers.”

Friends of the Earth’s North West campaigner Helen Rimmer said: “This extension is yet another delay for the industry at a time when fracking is becoming increasingly unpopular and politically toxic.”