Investigation into Cuadrilla over 'breach of planning permission'

An investigation into a suspected breach of planning regulations by fracking firm Cuadrilla has been launched.
An investigation into a suspected breach of planning regulations by fracking firm Cuadrilla has been launched.
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An investigation into a suspected breach of planning regulations by fracking firm Cuadrilla has been launched.

Lancashire County Council says it is investigating reports that vehicles delivered a drilling rig to the site on Preston New Road at 4am - outside of working hours as specified by their planning permission.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We're currently investigating the vehicle movements which we understand took place overnight and are in breach of planning permission.

"We are writing to the operator requiring them to put measures in place to prevent a recurrence, as well as considering what further action to take."

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said: “With the recently increased, aggressive protest activity outside our site in Lancashire, directed by London based Reclaim the Power, we decided, following consultation with the Lancashire Police, to take delivery of the rig in the early daylight hours of the morning.

"This was done to avoid yet another major road blockage by protestors with the attendant prolonged inconvenience to local road users and potential impacts on commuter and protestor safety.”

Campaigners at the Cuadrilla fracking site are continuing with their protest on top of wagons and another lock-on further along Preston New Road.

Speaking on behalf of Reclaim the Power, Ellie Groves said: "We heard today that Cuadrilla have moved a drill rig onto site at Preston New Road. But while they congratulate themselves, we won’t be distracted by today’s news, and it will only strengthen everybody’s resolve to keep fighting.

"Cuadrilla have been trying to frack in Lancashire for years but thanks to the strength of the local community they have been stopped at every turn.

"In the last month alone, hundreds of people from across the UK have come together to support the local community and take action and prevent such a reckless and undemocratic industry getting a foothold."

Cuadrilla has been contacted for comment.

Drilling rig arrives at Cuadrilla as protesters enter second day on wagons