Following extensive public consultation Cuadrilla Resources will submit, before the end of the month, a planning application to Lancashire County Council to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells at its proposed exploration site at Preston New Road. Once the planning application for Preston New Road has been validated by Lancashire County Council, it is anticipated the application will be decided within a 16 week determination period.
Plans will also be submitted to install a network of seismic monitoring stations within a 4km radius of the proposed exploration site.
As part of the process, planning and environmental consultants at Arup have produced a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that will accompany the planning application.
A separate planning application for a second proposed exploration site, at Roseacre Wood, will also be submitted to the Council a few weeks after the Preston New Road application.
The public consultation for the two sites has included regular newsletters and written updates to over 9,000 households along with Cuadrilla holding a variety of events to give residents the opportunity to find out more about their plans. Two dedicated Community Liaison Groups have also been established one each for Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road, providing community representatives with an additional forum to meet Cuadrilla’s project team, discuss the proposals and make recommendations.
Cuadrilla’s chief executive Francis Egan said:
“This application could be a really important milestone for Lancashire and the UK as we seek to unlock Lancashire’s shale gas potential. The development of the shale gas industry has the potential to bring significant investment, community benefits and opportunities for local people and the North West and UK economies.
“We have undertaken extensive consultation and engagement with the local communities on these applications and have listened carefully to what people have told us. Where it has been reasonably practical to do so we have amended our plans to incorporate feedback and suggestions.”
Once Cuadrilla’s planning application for Preston New Road has been validated by Lancashire County Council, the company will write to local residents with a further update on the environmental assessment and the findings from the community consultation so far.