Preston New Road campaigners lose fracking appeal

Preston New Road campaigners lose fracking appeal

The fracking firm drilled a 1.6 mile deep vertical well at its protest-hit Preston New Road site, through two different types of shale, to reveal "excellent rock quality" for fracking.

Cuadrilla said it was "very encouraged" by its findings at the site.

Three Court of Appeal judges announced their decision in London on Friday to reject challenges brought by the Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and environmental campaigner Gayzer Frackman, from Blackpool.

The Court of Appeal has now dismissed both Mr Frackman and the campaign group's appeals.

"As our lawful planning consent remains in place, even whilst the Court of Appeal case was heard, operations on site have continued to progress well".

United Kingdom energy company Cuadrilla's planning application was refused by Lancashire County Council in 2015 but later granted following an appeal and a planning inquiry.

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But protesters have vowed to fight on, with Gayzer Frackman saying his team will now go to the Supreme Court for permission to challenge the decision further.

He said: "The government has signed up to the Paris Agreement and so must be held accountable for supporting the fracking industry and the consequences for increased carbon emissions".

The planning permissions at the centre of the appeal are for exploratory and associated monitoring works in respect of exploration for shale gas.

They previously tried to overturn the Secretary of State's decision through the High Court, which dismissed their claims a year ago.

Permission to start fracking at the Preston New Road site was granted in October 2016 by communities secretary Javid, who overruled an earlier decision from Lancashire County Council, and work began in January a year ago.

The court said its role was not to consider whether the secretary of state's decision was "right" but "only to decide whether he had committed any error of law".

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