New action group formed against fracking proposals

Visualisation of the Preston New Road exploration site with Cuadrilla's drilling rig.
Visualisation of the Preston New Road exploration site with Cuadrilla's drilling rig.
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Neighbours closest to a proposed fracking site in Lancashire have formed an action group, fearing the area is “unacceptably close” to their homes.

An application for drilling up to four exploratory wells on Land off Preston New Road, to the west of Little Plumpton, has been lodged with County Hall chiefs.

But members of the newly-created Preston New Road Action Group (PAG) say they are “deeply concerned” about the impact of shale gas exploration so near to their community.

Patricia Davies, who helped form PAG, said: “The group is designed to raise awareness in the area - a lot of people don’t seem to understand what fracking is about.

“The main concern is that Fylde is a tourist location, and the first thing you’re going to see coming off the M55 will be these drills which will flare methane gas.”
She also said residents had health concerns about the plans.

Cuadrilla said they listened hard to local people before submitting their plans, but Patricia said families were concerned about the proximity of their homes to the proposed site.

She said: “There are 10 families within 230m of the drill site, and at the moment it’s just green fields with cattle and sheep grazing.”

Patricia described the site as “unacceptably close” to the homes, and she said 300 elderly residents would be living within 1,000m of the site.

She said: “Because this is the first real fracking site in the UK, the impacts are unknown so to do it so close to family homes is an unnecessary risk.

“From my home, everywhere you look you see fields.

“We bought into a lifestyle - we’ve got birds, foxes, rabbits - it’s all very rural.

“But that will all change once it becomes industrialised.”
She added: “The real concerns are the health impacts of siting something so close to the community.”

Cuadrilla said they had worked hard to take on board feedback received during their consultations with local groups.

Chief executive Francis Egan said: “Where it has been reasonably practical to do so, we have amended our plans to incorporate feedback and suggestions.”