Shale gas company Cuadrilla said yesterday that it will not back down in its attempt to kick-start the UK’s fracking industry.
The firm announced plans to appeal against a decision last month by Lancashire County Council (LCC) to refuse planning consent for two shale gas exploration sites.
Cuadrilla sought planning permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells on each of two sites in the county – one at Preston New Road and the other at Roseacre Wood.
The company said: “LCC’s planning officer had recommended approval of the Preston New Road exploration site planning application and was very clear that the proposals were acceptable on all environmental and planning grounds.”
Cuadrilla added that the planning officer had recommended refusal of the Roseacre Wood exploration site on traffic grounds and highlighted that the site was “refused solely on those grounds”. We will review the proposed traffic routing for Roseacre Wood in preparing our appeal.”
Cuadrilla boss Francis Egan said the appeal was a “natural step in the democratic process for deciding any planning application”.
He added: “I understand that some people would prefer that we did not appeal, but I am confident that we will demonstrate to Lancashire and the UK that shale gas exploration and fracking is not only safe but represents a very real opportunity to create jobs, fuel businesses, heat UK homes and stimulate significant local economic growth.”