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Fracking Gets Green Light in Lancashire
Planning Officers in Lancashire have recommended that fracking company Cuadrilla, should be granted permission to explore for shale gas at one site on Preston New Road, near the village of Little Plumpton, provided conditions covering noise, hours of work and traffic are met.
If councillors approve the proposal next week at a meeting of Lancashire County Councils Development Control Committee, it will be the first time fracking has been allowed in the UK since a ban on the controversial practice was imposed in 2011, following earth tremors near Blackpool. The ban was subsequently lifted in 2012, but despite government backing, no fracking sites have been approved up until now.
Fleetwood MP Cat Smith, has been a longtime opponent of fracking in the area stating “I remain appalled that the coalition government slashed subsidies for renewable energy whilst, in the words of the Chancellor George Osborne, giving fracking companies the ‘most generous tax breaks in the world’. We need to be looking at tidal energy here in the Wyre area,” She said.
Cuadrilla are aiming to establish up to 100 production sites across Lancashire covering an area of two square kilometres; planners however could substantially limit the number of sites having already recommended refusal of an application for fracking at Roseacre Wood ten miles from Blackpool due to an unacceptable increase in traffic, particularly heavy goods vehicles.