Gas exploration company Cuadrilla has won its court battle to prevent anti-fracking campaigners from camping out on Lancashire farming land.
At a hearing at Manchester High Court, HHJ Hodge QC upheld a claim submitted by local farmers and Cuadrilla for possession against trespassers who had been illegally occupying farmland at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.
In addition the court has also imposed an interim injunction so that no future trespass can take place on farmland at and surrounding Cuadrilla’s two proposed shale gas exploration sites.
This injunction will be assessed again at a hearing in early October as the defence was granted time to further prepare on this aspect of the claim.
Protesters from No Dash For Gas had opposed Cuadrilla’s court action.
Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, said: “We welcome the Judge’s verdict to uphold the claim against illegal trespass on local farmland and we were pleased to support the landowners in these legal proceedings.
“We hope the court’s ruling will help deter this kind of unlawful behaviour in the future which has already had a detrimental impact on a local farmer’s business.”
Protesters camped on private land as part of a demonstration against Cuadrilla’s plans to “frack” at sites in Rosecare and Little Plumpton.
Lancashire County Council will consider the applications in the coming months.