Cuadrilla plans 'goodwill' payments to locals at Preston New Road after earthquake at frack site

Cuadrilla will make small “goodwill payments” to people who claim their homes were damaged by a violent tremor caused by the company’s fracking site.

Sunday, 27th October 2019, 8:07 pm
The Cuadrilla frack site at Preston New Road

Chief executive Francis Egan said damage reports number in the “low two figures” and that there is no clear evidence the earthquake caused them.

“It would be impossible to say if that was caused by the tremor, or is it just natural settlement in the building,” he said.

“But we do want to retain goodwill, so we will make some payments.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said no “major damage” has been reported by locals near the Preston New Road site.

Residents will be paid a few hundred pounds to help cover the price of redecorating rooms where plaster work has cracked, he said.

Locals reported being woken up when the tremor ripped through the site at 8.30am on the bank holiday Monday in August, shaking windows in their frames.

Many said their homes had been damaged by the 2.9 magnitude quake, which is more than 250 times bigger than the 0.5 that is allowed under Government rules. Fracking has been indefinitely suspended at the site since the tremor and Cuadrilla said it would repair any damage it had caused.

However, Mr Egan said that some “obviously egregious” damage claims had been sent in.

“Lots of people have showed us cracks with weeds growing out of them, for example, or cracks that when you look on Rightmove you can see the exact same cracks in photos taken well before the tremor,” he said.