Spotlight on council to reject fracking bid

PROTEST: Anti-fracking protestors at a field off Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton

PROTEST: Anti-fracking protestors at a field off Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton

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Campaigners in Lancashire are urging council chiefs to follow in the footsteps of The South Downs National Park and say no to fracking.

This week the South Downs National Park unanimously rejected an application from Celtique Energy for shale gas and oil drilling near the village of Fernhurst in Sussex.

The applications did not involve fracking - the controversial technique of injecting water and chemicals underground at high pressure to find gas trapped in rocks - but there were fears it would lead to it in the future.

Those opposed to the plans in Lancashire say the decision to reject drilling throws the spotlight on Lancashire County Councillors who are expected to make a decision on Cuadrilla’s applications for fracking sites off Preston New Road near Little Plumpton, and near Roseacre in the Fylde in November.

Bob Dennett from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking said: “We are really pleased to hear that another application to drill for unconventional oil and gas has been turned down. More and more councils around the country are saying no to fracking and declaring themselves frack-free. “We are now looking to Lancashire County Councillors to show the same concern for communities and our environment and say no to fracking here.”

Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth North West campaigner said: “It’s fantastic news that drilling has been refused in Sussex and a National Park has been protected - but communities across the country still face the threat of fracking particularly here in Lancashire.

“It’s time to build a clean energy future based on efficiency and developing our significant potential for renewable power, which could create thousands of new jobs in Lancashire.”