Thousands in fracking row

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Environmental campaigners say thousands of people have opposed plans for a major fracking exploration site near Preston.

Friends of the Earth said more than 3,500 people had submitted objections over Cuadrilla’s proposals for the site off Preston New Road near Little Plumpton.

They also said a further 1,500 letters of objections had been gathered by the Frack Free Lancashire campaign, which they intend to submit to Lancashire County Council this week.

Friends of the Earth said thousands of people had submitted emails from a template on their website, with their own details and objections.

County Hall bosses said they couldn’t confirm a figure as the objections had not yet all been recorded.

The campaign group said the objections had been submitted within a fortnight, ahead of the official closing date to the consultation on July 4.

Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth’s North West campaigner said: “People in Lancashire and across the UK are sending a clear message that Cuadrilla’s fracking plans are strongly opposed on environmental and community impact grounds.

“The applications to frack multiple wells in the Fylde are of national interest as the area is nationally important for food production and wildlife protection, and what happens here will affect the future of the fracking industry across the country.”

Ebony Johnson of Frack Free Lancashire, an alliance of 17 local groups across the county, said: “Over fifteen hundred people have already signed objection letters which we will be delivering to the county council, and we are now raising awareness with local residents who have so far been excluded from Cuadrilla’s consultation.

“Everyone has the right to object to these applications and we’re encouraging anyone concerned about fracking to do so before it’s too late.”

Cuadrilla declined to comment until an offical number was confirmed.