Plans to frack at two sites in Lancashire “should be refused” because of noise levels and traffic, according to a report from Lancashire County Council.
Energy firm Cuadrilla had applied to explore Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood for shale gas. However, planning officers ruled that the application for the site at Little Plumpton should be refused due to noise that would “unnecessarily and unacceptably” affect nearby properties. Additionally, the increase in traffic a site at Roseacre Wood would bring would have an “unacceptable impact” on the rural roads, the report said.
The county council’s Development Control Committee will consider the recommendations next week.
A Cuadrilla spokesperson has described the decision as “disappointing” but noted that the planning officer’s report accepted the “principle of the proposals” and is satisfied with all other aspects, including the conclusion that properly regulated fracking is “very low risk”.
The company has now put forward measures that aim to mitigate the noise of drilling and fracturing, as well as additional information on traffic.
Whilst supporters of fracking argue that if properly regulated the method doesn’t pose any risks and can cut carbon emissions, those against it suggests methane leaks, environmental degradation and negative human side effects are likely to occur.
Friends of the Earth’s North West campaigner, Helen Rimmer commented, “We are delighted that the planning officers have recognised the serious effects that these developments would have on neighbouring residents and have recommended that Lancashire County Council refuses these applications.
“Councillors must now act on this and the tens of thousands of objections they have received and reject Cuadrilla’s fracking applications next week. Only by doing so will they ensure that fracking is not allowed to cause further climate change while also putting communities and the local environment at risk.”
Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli