The Government has overturned Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse permission for a fracking site.
The council had rejected Cuadrilla’s plans for fracking in two parts of the county.
However, communities secretary Sajid Javid has now moved to allow fracking at the Preston New Road site following an appeal by Cuadrilla. He has also postponed a decision on the Roseacre site but said he was ‘minded to allow the appeal’ subject to conditions.
Councillor Marcus Johnstone, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: ‘A local council, made up of councillors democratically elected by local people, and charged with serving their interests, is exactly the right body to make decisions on local matters.
‘It is clear that the government supports the development of a shale gas industry, but I would ask them to do more to address the concerns of local communities and the councillors who represent them by supporting the best environmental controls.
’The secretary of state's decision to allow more time to consider issues related to highway safety around the Roseacre site reflects the committee's concerns on this issue. We will now await information from the applicant on the details required to fulfil the planning conditions set out for the Preston New Road site.’
Photo: Friends of the Earth