UK- Fracking denied at one Lancashire site| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 20 January 2022 11:46 GMT

UK- Fracking denied at one Lancashire site

(MENAFN- ProactiveInvestors)Anti-fracking campaigners are celebrating a victory following Lancashire council's decision to reject an application for a programme of four shale gas wells near Blackpool. But the real test for Lancashire councillors comes on Monday when a decision is made for a separate project. It was not unexpected that the council denied the application for fracking at the Roseacre Wood well site. Cuadrilla the shale gas firm pursuing the project said it was 'disappointed but not surprised' at the denial. A Senior planning officer's report had previously recommended against the application for Roseacre due to the potential impact upon local traffic; it did not however object to the use of fracking. 'After a year since our application was submitted to the Council The Planning Officer's cited just one reason of traffic concerns for giving a negative recommendation' Cuadrilla added. The privately owned UK shale gas company said it would now take time to consider its options for Roseacre which may include an appeal. Senior planner was in favour of Cuadrilla's other application for the Little Plumpton (also referred to as Preston New Road) site and the report recommended that application for approval. However a council committee failed to reach a conclusive decision over Little Plumpton this week and further news is expected on Monday. It has subsequently been reported that councillors had been warning privately that a refusal of the application without 'substantial objective evidence' could be deemed unreasonable and could potentially result in legal challenges and penalties. Legal experts have also suggested that a refusal in such circumstances would likely be overturned if the decision was appealed. Environmentalists have protested against the use of fracking in the UK for a number of years and group's set up camps near Cuadrilla's Balcombe well site in Sussex during a drill programme in the summer of 2013. Opponents of the controversial hydrocarbon extraction technique which is essential in to unlocking the gas in UK shale believe it damages the environment and poses health risks to those living nearby. The industry meanwhile refutes such claims. Cuadrilla describes its environmental impact assessments for its latest applications as 'the most comprehensive ever carried out for operations of this kind.' 'These assessments are the product of thousands of hours of work from independent expert environmental scientists and other engineering specialists and they demonstrate beyond question that the operations can and will be conducted safely and without damage to people's health or their environment' Cuadrilla said. The British government has publicly backed fracking and the country's nascent shale gas industry which experts have described as a possible 'get out of jail card free' card that would remedy the government's chaotic energy policy. Shale gas firms have been promised incentives including a new field allowance for shale gas and extended ring-fencing of profits from taxes. Local economies that accept fracking are also set to benefit via one-off payments of £100000 per well and a 1% share of future revenues from gas sales. IGas (LON:IGAS) a London Stock Exchange listed shale gas company today told investors it is preparing to submit planning applications for several well sites. "Over the next twelve months we anticipate acquiring further seismic data securing new sites and submitting several planning applications for exploration wells and flow tests' IGas chief executive Stephen Bowler said in a statement. Drilling is expected to begin early next year but the timeline for fracking and testing operations will depend on the local planning processes. Monday's decision will be an important milestone in the shale gas sector's emergence. But whichever way the decision goes it is very unlikely that it will be the end of the matter.

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