Cuadrilla welcomes the decision by Secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid to grant planning consent for its applications to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire. Regarding a similar application for a proposed site at Roseacre Wood, where the Secretary of State is minded to grant following further consultation on highways conditions, Cuadrilla looks forward to demonstrating that it will meet these requirements.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said:
“We are very pleased that we can now move ahead with our shale gas exploration plans which will start to create new economic growth opportunities and jobs for people in Lancashire and the UK. As a Lancashire business we are proud that the County will play such a vital role in securing vitally needed home sourced energy. We are confident that our operations will be safe and responsible and the comprehensive site monitoring programme planned by regulators and independent academics will in due course conclusively demonstrate this. We hope this will reassure the minority of people whom remain sceptical about shale gas exploration. This news has given Lancashire a big vote of confidence in its economic and energy future.”
Notes to Editors:
Cuadrilla appealed Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) Planning Committee’s decisions in June 2015 to refuse planning consent for two applications, one for Preston New Road and the other for Roseacre Wood temporary shale gas exploration sites.
Cuadrilla also appealed the refusal of a separate planning application to install seismic and groundwater monitoring stations around its proposed Preston New Road exploration site. An identical monitoring planning application was granted for the proposed Roseacre Wood exploration site, however Cuadrilla appealed against a condition imposed on this planning consent that would prevent any monitors being installed during winter months. Both of these have also been granted planning consent by the Secretary of State.
LCC’s Planning Officers had recommended approval of the Preston New Road exploration site planning application and were very clear that the proposals were acceptable on health, environment and all planning grounds. The monitoring applications for both Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood were also recommended for approval by Planning Officers.
The Planning Officers had recommended refusal of the Roseacre Wood main exploration site application on traffic grounds and it was refused solely on those grounds.