Following Minister Kwasi Kwarteng’s comments last month that ‘fracking is over’, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper wrote to him seeking confirmation that this was Government’s policy.
He responded: “On the basis of the current scientific evidence, the Government has confirmed that it will take a presumption against issuing any further Hydraulic Fracturing Consents in England, which are required before hydraulic fracturing operations can take place.”
She said: “The Minister has now accepted what I and anti-fracking campaigners have been saying for many years, and has admitted that fracking is over. The evidence that fracking can be undertaken safely is not available.
"I am pleased to have received this assurance and that Government will take a presumption against issuing any further Hydraulic Fracturing Consents.”
The moratorium will remain in place ‘unless compelling new evidence’ can be produced to address concerns around seismicity.
She added: “This is fantastic news for my constituents in West Lancashire where there were plans to frack at a site in Altcar and to the county council who took the brave decision to refuse the initial application.”
Maureen Mills from Frack Free Lancashire said: “Despite the moratorium on fracking consents and withdrawal of government support for fracking, Aurora are continuing with their application which is likely to be determined by LCC in August or September.
"Thereby they continue to put residents through the trauma of the threat to our health, the environment, our countryside and its agricultural heritage.”
The future of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site remains uncertain as planning permission to frack at the site ran out in November 2019 and if no new permission is granted the site must return to farm land by August 2023.