Fracking appeal hearing set for 12 days in February

Supporters of shale gas staged a noisy demonstration outside Blackpool Football Club as a meeting to set out next year’s planning inquiry on fracking went ahead.

Thursday, 19th November 2015, 3:10 pm
Pro-gas protesters in Blackpool

Around 50 people with a lorry and placards calling for the county-wide fracking project to go ahead chanted as the Government appointed inspector laid out the procedures for the hearing which is to start on February 9.

Wendy McKay will rule on Cuadrilla’s appeal against Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse permission to drill and test frack for natural gas at sites at Preston News Road, Little Plumpton and Roseacre, plus monitoring operations.

She said the inquiry would run four 12 days with two possible evening sessions to allow people who could not get time off work to give evidence.

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In the first week it is set to run from Tuesday, February 9th to Friday the 12th, the 16th to 19th and from 23rd to 26th.

Witnesses will give evidence of noise, landscaping, planning issues, highways issues, public health, climate change, wildlife, the opportunities for skills, training and jobs and economic impact and benefits.

As well as Cuadrilla and the county council, evidence will come from, The North and Western Chamber of Commerce, The Roseacre Awareness Group and Treales, Roseacre and Wharles Parish Council, The Preston New Road Action Group, Friends of the Earth, and the parish councils from Westby with Plumptons, Newton with Clifton.

Outside the meeting protestors said they wanted the process to speed up as they believed fracking could bring jobs and money to the local economy.

South Shore engineer Tim Freshney said: “We are sure fracking can be done safely and it will bring a big step forward for Blackpool.”