Almost 10,000 objections have been lodged against fracking at two controversial sites near Preston, according to campaigners.
And protest groups are urging thousands more to make their feelings known before Lancashire County Council closes its consultation period on one of them at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton this Friday.
The authority is set to decide on two applications by shale gas exploration firm Cuadrilla in November. Opponents are hoping councillors will take account of public opinion and refuse both.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from local residents and businesses,” said Patricia Davies from the Preston New Road Action Group which forms part of the Frack Free Lancashire Alliance. “Thousands of objections have been lodged to this site and we urge anyone who cares about protecting the environment to do so before Friday.
“It is clear that local residents don’t want the Fylde fracked. Fracking will industrialise the Fylde and risk our air, water, land and health with no gains for local residents but huge gains for Cuadrilla and their friends in Government. We call upon councillors to fulfil their elected responsibility and listen to and protect our local community by saying a decisive no to this industry.”
Cuadrilla want permission to test the shale gas that lie beneath the land between Preston and Blackpool. That will involve sinking wells on land at Little Plumpton and also at Roseacre Wood north of Kirkham. Hundreds of protestors set up camp on farmland near one of Cuadrilla’s proposed drill sites last month, an action which prompted the company and local landowners to seek a court order prohibiting a repeat in future.
Friends of the Earth say 4,500 of their supporters have lodged objections to the Preston New Road site and 5,000 more signatures have been gathered by Frack Free Lancashi