Reader’s letters - Wednesday November 19, 2014

Indicative illustration of a buried seismic monitoring station sent in by Cuadrilla's CEO Francis Egan
Indicative illustration of a buried seismic monitoring station sent in by Cuadrilla's CEO Francis Egan
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Planning now for future

I read a letter from Francis Egan CEO of Cuadrilla (letters November 7), trying to claim that the 184 monitoring sites they are applying for, are not industrial development.

Look at their application and you will see that the sites they specify are 20m x 20m and are to have welfare facilities, lay down area, stores, parking and a drill. See the illustrations in their monitoring works application, pages 18 and 20.

This is not residential, not recreational, not agricultural, of course it is industrial - it is development for industry in the countryside. If Cuadrilla’s plans are passed, Cuadrilla and any companies they are sold on to, will have the choice to develop these sites because in planning terms, once the principle of development is approved it is very difficult for planners to refuse further development.

Note that Mr Egan did not deny his prediction, that this will be the largest gas field in the whole of Western Europe. He did not deny the earthquakes caused by Cuadrilla in 2011 and nor did he deny the fact that safety recommendations have not been implemented.

Cuadrilla do not reassure - they just try to pull the wool over our eyes.

Christian Thompson, via e-mail

Pandora’s box fears for shale

In his response to Elaine Smith’s letter Francis Egan is clearly being at least economical with the truth. The picture he submitted was for a surface array point of which, there are 16 in the two seismic monitoring planning applications.

There are a further 160 plus buried arrays in the applications which are purely for Cuadrilla’s own commercial benefit, not for monitoring of earthquakes or safeguarding public or environment. The buried arrays, according to Cuadrilla’s planning application report, each comprise of a 20x20 metre concrete surfaced pad, with a vehicle parking area, a drilling rig, welfare facilities and a store.

For the array sites alone a total of approx. six hectares of mainly agricultural land is being converted to concrete, that is approximately the size of six full size football pitches.

If planning permission is granted, the principle of development will have been established for each of the 184 odd sites, rendering them liable for future development even if there are no ‘current’ plans for such development.

For the two sites targeted for exploratory drilling, Cuadrilla have made it clear that, should gas flows prove to be viable for exploitation, even with the first well drilled, the intention is to apply directly for planning permission for production rather than continue with the four well exploratory phase.

After all the whole point of exploratory testing is to move to production. However, in order to extract the volumes of gas required, many hundreds, if not thousands of wells will be required.

In the USA over 80,000 wells have been drilled for shale gas since 2005.

How many wells, with all the supporting infrastructure and heavy traffic, will Mr Egan consider to be an industrial development, and where will they be located? Pandora’s box?

Neil Simmonds, via e-mail

Setting self up for success

With regards to Chorley Council slapping themselves on the back and hailing the ‘runaway success’ of opening Market Street to traffic, as I recall they are the same organisation that closed it in the first place.

Would they, maybe, release the costings for closing a road and then opening it again?

Hundreds of thousands of pounds, I would expect. Still, easy come, easy go...

David Kirkham, Brinscall

Channelling roads isles’ way

It was interesting to read the letter from D H Caunce (letters October 31) where they make a suggestion about a filter system for Fishergate.

This idea came from a holiday they had in Guernsey where a filter system signed ‘filter in lane’ was being used successfully.

I too, also on holiday, but in Jersey, had the same experience whilst travelling back from Gorey and passing through St Helier during the rush hour. We came upon signs which read ‘filter in turn’.

As we approached the point where another road was merging with the main road upon which we were travelling, all the traffic followed the signs, moving at a slower pace in an orderly fashion. If this system works in two different places, why not give it a trial. What have we got to lose? Using this system, it would automatically slow down the traffic to the benefit of pedestrians crossing Fishergate.

Roy Staines, Penwortham

Hope for repeat for resort show

After Mamma Mia’s long and very successful run playing to full houses, both in the evening and matinees at the wonderful Blackpool Opera House, I feel I must put pen to paper to plead for yet another long-running musical for next summer’s season.

As Blackpool has always been a circus town, and as Barnum is enjoying a very popular country-wide tour, could Cameron Mackintosh be persuaded to bring his super production to Blackpool Opera House for the 2015 summer season?

I genuinely feel this would be the ideal follow-up to the success of Mamma Mia in 2014!

A F Sowman, Fulwood

An annual date to remember

I did smile when I read Gordon Garment’s letter (letters November 15) asking for some warning of bonfire night firework displays. While I can sympathise with Mr Garment, it is more than 400 years since the Observance of November 5 Act was drawn up and I do wonder just how much more warning anyone might need. In my experience of such things, if not celebrated on the date itself then the nearest Saturday tends to attract such parties too.

Michael Roberts, Fulwood