Roseacre fracking decision ‘unsurprising’

Shale gas extraction

Yesterday, Lancashire County Council’s development control committee refused Caudrilla’s planning application to frack at Roseacre Wood.

NWLCC chief executive Babs Murphy said: “This announcement is disappointing but does not come as a surprise following the planning officers’ recommendation.

“What is frustrating is that officers have deemed this development to be unsafe because of traffic concerns.

“The reality is that there would be an average of five HGV visits a day, so 10 two-way movements, and although these movements will peak at 25 per day, that would be on just six occasions throughout the two-year development programme.

“There are some big farm vehicles around and farming is an industry. If these vehicle movements were farming, for example milk tankers or silage machines, would the decision have been the same?

“By refusing this proposal for the sake of a few trucks on the road, councillors have deprived local businesses of some huge opportunities. It would seem that, where development and progress requires this level of traffic in future, Lancashire will be closed for business.

“What we can take comfort from is that fact that this was the only reason councillors have refused this proposal, and as there were no objections on any other grounds, surely Monday’s vote on the planning application for Preston New Road will have a positive outcome.”

A decision for Preston New Road at Little Plumpton should be made on Monday after councillors agreed to adjourn on Wednesday so they could have time to study legal advice before deciding whether to allow the proposal to go ahead.

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