At the High Court in Manchester today (1st June 2018), Judge Pelling QC awarded Cuadrilla and local farmers an interim injunction covering its shale gas exploration operations at Preston New Road (PNR), Lancashire.
This interim injunction replaces an existing injunction forbidding trespass on the company’s PNR shale gas exploration site and surrounding farmland. In addition the injunction:
- Prohibits unlawful obstruction of the site entrance and adjacent main “A583” road¹. This includes “lock-ons” (chaining oneself to an object or another person to deliberately prevent access) and climbing onto, or slow walking in front of, vehicles accessing or leaving the site;
- Unlawful disruption of named Cuadrilla suppliers by, for example, blockading supplier properties is also covered by the injunction. The list of organisations covered are listed on Cuadrilla’s website here
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:
“We are pleased that the High Court has seen fit to grant this interim injunction which provides further reassurance to our employees, contractors, and suppliers and the general public using the Preston New Road that they can go about their lawful business without intimidation and illegal unlawful blockades from activists. This injunction does not restrict lawful and peaceful protest but is an important deterrent against unlawful protest which we have witnessed to an extraordinary degree at Preston New Road. Those activists that continue to contemplate unlawful activity against us or our suppliers should strongly consider the serious penalties that a breach of this injunction could bring.”
The Court will reconvene on 10th July 2018 in order to consider the matter further and to hear arguments from four named defendants who raised objections at the hearing this week.
All papers regarding the injunction can be found at this link:
¹ The area covered is the whole of the Preston New Road (A583) between the junction with Peel Hill to the North West and 50 meters to the east of the vehicular entrance to the PNR Site