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Lancashire veto fracking application

Cuadrilla are reeling from the rejection of their fracking application as Lancashire county council put an end to their shale gas exploration plans.

Safe to say that the locals were delighted with the news as more than half of the councillors vetoed the application due to it’s potential impact on the landscape and noise pollution.

It’s the second application that Lancashire council have vetoed with regard to Cuadrilla’s fracking plans. Cuadrilla are undeterred however and are appealing the decision as a statement describes:

“We will now take time to consider our options regarding an appeal for Preston New Road, along with also considering appeals for the planning applications recently turned down, against officer advice, for monitoring and site restoration at Grange Hill, and last week’s decision to refuse the Roseacre Wood application.”

Not great news for the new energy secretary, Amber Rudd who has been supporting fracking with promises to ‘deliver shale’ as well as focusing on cutting down wind farm subsidies.

It’s unlikely she’ll promote an appeal for Cuadrilla though after all of her pledges to give local people a voice and the power to veto any developments. Looks like it may have come back to bite her.

A win for the Green Party as MP Caroline Lucas celebrated saying:

“The decision proves that, in spite of all the government’s efforts to force through fracking, local communities can prevent it from going ahead.”

Not such a victory for Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister, who said that the decision was disappointing.

“However, shale gas has huge potential in the UK, and is an opportunity to develop a new, homegrown energy source that would displace foreign imports and create tens of thousands of jobs. I’m confident that potential will be realised – and the government will back it.”

David Cameron voiced the same opinion:

“We respect the planning process. The Government has been clear that we think shale has got huge potential and presents us with an opportunity to develop a new energy resource and create jobs. We will continue to look at how we can develop this industry in the UK.”

It will be interesting to see the government’s response to an appeal if it lands on their desk. Will they back fracking at the risk of losing public favour and backtrack on their promises to give local councils more power?

Or will they bow down to public opinion and start overturning their proposed end to wind farm subsidies?

Watch this space!