Rally outside fracking inquiry

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Almost two thirds of people think local councils, not the Government, should decide if fracking goes ahead in their area, a poll suggests.

The survey of 1,055 people for Greenpeace found 62 per cent of people were in favour of the decision being made locally.

Anti-fracking protestors outside Bloomfield Road Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Anti-fracking protestors outside Bloomfield Road Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

It comes as a public inquiry begins into whether the go-ahead should be given for shale gas exploration at two sites in Lancashire.

Greenpeace is staging a protest outside Parliament complete with a 10-metre fracking rig and drill, in protest against the move by the Government to drive forward with the controversial process for extracting gas in the UK.

A public inquiry is being held after Lancashire County Council turned down shale gas company Cuadrilla’s planning application for exploratory drilling and fracking for shale gas at two sites in Roseacre and Little Plumpton.

Anti-fracking protestors have gathered outside the hearing in Bloomfield Road, where the inquiry is taking place.

Cuadrilla’s appeal against the decision is being heard by the planning inspector at the inquiry, but the Government has decided Communities Secretary Greg Clark will make the final decision because the proposals are “of more than local significance”.

A rally is taking place outside Blackpool Football club where the inquiry is being held.

Jasber Singh, from Lancashire and part of Frack Free Lancashire, said: “I have been involved with anti-fracking community groups in Lancashire for over two years, and the number of groups keeps increasing.

“That’s because we are not going to gain anything from fracking apart from air, noise, land and water pollution that’s bad for our health and the health of the climate.

“It would pay the Communities Minister to visit some communities in Lancashire rather than ignoring us and our council.”