Revealed: New route for frack lorries through Woodplumpton and Broughton

Photo Neil Cross'The anti-fracking protest at County Hall, Preston
Photo Neil Cross'The anti-fracking protest at County Hall, Preston
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Fracking firm Cuadrilla has revealed a new route for lorries through the Lancashire countryside.

It has emerged that one of the proposals to tackle objections to its plans to frack at Roseacre Wood near Elswick is to bring traffic in through Broughton and Woodplumpton.

Residents have been urged to study the plans carefully and comment before Lancashire County Council’s development control committee reconvenes to consider Cuadrilla’s applications.

The committee adjourned its decision for at least eight weeks on Wednesday after Cuadrilla asked for time to address concerns about noise and traffic movement in and around its proposed sites at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

Woodplumpton parish council clerk Julie Buttle said: “The proposals will have to be advertised so that the parish council and residents will have to chance to comment on the proposals. The parish council will make a collective decision on the proposals at its next meeting .”

Cuadrilla has said it is confident it can address councillors’ and residents’ concerns relating to both sites.

The gas exploration firm says in its letter to the parish council that its original plans were for a two-way traffic flow of HGVs running from Roseacre Wood south to the A583 junction at Clifton. Planners raised concerns about traffic movement through Wharles.

The company said it had since been working with the Ministry of Defence, which owns the former HMS Inskip site. It had now obtained agreement from the Secretary of State for Defence allowing it to traverse the site, thereby removing nearly all HGV movements running through the village of Wharles.

The alternate route for HGVs inbound to the site would be from Junction 1 of the M55 and along the B5269 via the A6. The outgoing traffic would go from Roseacre Wood south to the A583 at Clifton.

Ms Buttle, who is also a Preston city councillor, said now that Cuadrilla’s applications had been deferred, the new proposed route would be in the public domain and consultation was needed.

Members of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee were told after taking legal advice that they had “no choice” but to postpone a decision.

Gas exploration firm Cuadrilla successfully argued that the three-day hearing should be postponed.

The committee was told that there was a legal obligation that “substantial” new information on an application should be considered and consulted on.

And after legal advice the committee agreed to defer the hearing.

A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “The additional information we have provided on further mitigation measures will, we believe, fully address the noise and traffic concerns raised by the planning officers in their recommendation to refuse planning permission for both sites.

“This additional information will be assessed by the planning officers and there will now be an opportunity for the public to properly review and comment on this.

“We remain committed to the exploration of shale gas in Lancashire.”