Cuadrilla’s wait to find out if it can start the UK’s first fracking operation in four years will be dragged on, after Lancashire County Council deferred the decision.
Cuadrilla’s application for permission to frack on the Preston New Road site is recommended for approval, and a decision was expected on Wednesday. However, Lancashire county council has put the vote off until Monday at 10am when coucillors will reconvene.
In good news for Cuadrilla, a proposal to refuse its application was put forward and subsequently defeated. Planning officials for the council said there were no sustainable grounds to refuse the decision. The councillors received lengthy legal advice before their vote on refusal.
In a statement, Cuadrilla was non-committal. Francis Egan, its chief executive, said:
As with all planning applications there is a procedure and process which is ongoing and as the applicant we await a final determination.
Talks will start tomorrow over another proposed project at Roseacre. The council’s planning officer has recommended refusal this time, making the chances of approval slight.