Anti-frackers take to the skies to make their point

County Hall

County Hall

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The fight to stop fracking in Lancashire was expected to hit new heights on Wednesday with a flying protest over Preston.

An aircraft towing a banner condemning shale gas exploration was due to buzz County Hall as councillors arrived for their last full council meeting before two momentous planning applications are considered in November.

Scores of demonstrators from 22 different protest groups were massing outside the building to lobby the meeting.

“Lancashire County Council has a choice,” said Ebony Ava Johnson of Frack Free Lancashire. “It is either to pursue the environmentally damaging process of shale gas extraction or embrace a clean energy future and ensure the health and safety of Lancashire residents and the beauty of the Lancashire environment.”

Frack Free Lancashire is an alliance of all 22 groups formed to fight fracking with a united voice comprising residents from across the county.

They are staging their biggest demonstration yet outside the headquarters of Lancashire County Council to remind elected members it will be the last full council meeting before they are asked to determine Cuadrilla’s two new planning applications for shale gas extraction in the Fylde.

More than 20,000 objections have been raised in petitions against drilling on land in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton and Roseacre.

The fly past has been organised by Roseacre Awareness Group, which represents more than 100 residents opposed to Cuadrilla’s plans to drill near their homes.

Resident Barbara Richardson said:“We call upon LCC to apply due diligence and protect the health and well-being of their residents and our environment.”