March 22, 2019

Onshore shale gas exploration operator Cuadrilla today announced it would not appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission for a new site at Roseacre Wood, Lancashire.

Cuadrilla, which is headquartered in nearby Bamber Bridge, said it would continue to progress operations at its flagship site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, where early results published in February revealed exciting reservoir potential.

The site in Preston New Road is the most advanced shale gas exploration site in the UK with two horizontal wells drilled into the Bowland Shale and permission for up to four as part of current planning permission.

Laura Hughes, Commercial and Projects Director at Cuadrilla, said: “We have been pursuing planning permission at Roseacre Wood for some time and it was naturally disappointing to hear it had been refused on traffic grounds by the Government last month. We had worked hard on the application and we believed the site provided an excellent opportunity to explore for natural gas in Lancashire. However, we acknowledge the findings of the lengthy review process and will not be appealing against the decision.

“We continue operations at Preston New Road where we have had high quality, natural gas back to the surface following hydraulic fracturing between October and November last year. Our first results were encouraging and our central focus remains there.”

Roseacre Wood, is in the parish of Treales, Roseacre and Wharles, as part of the Fylde, Lancashire. Cuadrilla submitted a planning application to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of natural gas from up to four horizontal wells to Lancashire County Council in 2014.  Permission was denied in 2015 and following an appeal the matter was subsequently heard at a public inquiry in 2016. The public inquiry resulted in the Secretary of State asking all parties to provide further evidence on highway safety and make representations at a new inquiry in spring last year. On February 12, 2019, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire refused planning permission on traffic and highways grounds.