Fracking rigs are changing... to match Lancashire’s clouds

Fracking rig

Fracking rig

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Energy firm Cuadrilla is motoring on with its fracking plans for the Lancashire countryside.

The company has submitted an application to Lancashire County Council to cover planning conditions, so work can begin on the Preston New Road site in Little Plumpton.

It comes after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid approved plans for fracking at the site last month after a long battle.

Now, detailed documents lodged with the authority address conditions including noise and traffic management, access arrangements and even the colour of equipment - proposing to change the colour of the rig from white, blue and yellow to light grey and white to “blend into clouds”.

Other conditions the application seeks to comply with issues about wheel cleaning, dust control, lighting, security fencing and landscaping.

A Traffic Management Plan has been submitted setting out the framework for managing site traffic, particularly heavy goods vehicles, to and from the site during construction, operation and decommissioning.

It said: “Access to the site for HGVs will take place via a direct route along the A583 from junction 4 of the M55 motorway. To egress the site, HGVs will turn left and follow the A583 and A585 to join the M55 Motorway at junction 3.”

The delivery or removal of materials and associated work, along with the construction of the site access and compound, will take place between 7.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, except public holidays, and 8.30am to 12pm on Saturdays.

The document said drilling boreholes and “operational management of drilling and extended flow testing”, well operations, flowback and testing operations excluding hydraulic fracturing pumping operations, and essential repairs, could take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pumping associated with fracturing operations is proposed to take place from 8am to 6pm Monday to Fridays, 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, and will not be permitted on Sundays or public holidays.

A noise management plan has also been submitted.