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Roseacre Wood shale gas application refused

Chris Satori
Members of Lancashire County Council's Development Control Committee (DCC) have voted to refuse the application by oil and gas company Cuadrilla to explore for shale gas at Roseacre Wood by drilling, hydraulically fracking and testing the flow of gas.

The application for Roseacre Wood was recommended for refusal for the following reason:

"The proposed development would be contrary to Policy DM2 of the Joint Lancashire Minerals and Waste Local Plan – Site Allocation and Development Management Policies in that it would generate an increase in traffic, particularly HGV movements, that would result in an unacceptable impact on the rural highway network and on existing road users, particularly vulnerable road users and a reduction in overall highway safety that would be severe."

The committee approved a separate application for the same site to enable Cuadrilla to monitor its operations. The monitoring arrays are designed to monitor seismic movement and water quality. The approval is subject to conditions controlling time limits, working programme, site operations, times and hours of working, highway matters, protection of public rights of way, drainage, noise, protection of trees, ecological and archaeological protection, restoration and aftercare.

The full reports relating to the applications can be viewed on the Lancashire County Council website.

County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, and member of the DCC, said:

"The Development Control Committee has listened very carefully to many hours of evidence both for and against the proposal, and considered the report of the council's planning officers. The decision to refuse this application has been reached by a vote of the committee, and each member of the committee has ultimately cast their vote based on the evidence they have heard and whether they think the proposal is acceptable."

The DCC will meet again on Monday 29 June at 10am to continue the hearing on Cuadrilla's application for exploratory fracking at Preston New Road. This was deferred yesterday to enable members to consider legal advice regarding the Lancashire Minerals and Waste Plan policy CS5, which deals with the sustainable production of minerals.

Frack Free Lancashire, Friends of the Earth, 38 Degrees and Greenpeace are calling for support for a "Don't Frack Lancs! Rally in Preston!" from 9am outside County Hall on Monday. You can find out more about it on their facebook event page.