Friday, 28 November 2014

County's fracking decision deadlines postponed to 31 January

Farmers objecting to Cuadrilla's fracking applications
hold mass tractor rally through Preston in October

Lancashire County Council has now agreed with Cuadrilla that decisions on two planning applications for shale gas development (fracking) will both be made by 31 January 2015 to allow time for consultation on further details provided as part of the planning process (More about this below).

Lancaster Events
In the meantime Lancaster Climate Action (LCA) and Pirates Against Climate Change (PACC) will host a Pirate benefit gig tomorrow 29 November at the Yorkshire House to raise funds for the defence of the environment. It's £3 entry, completely non-profit. Pirate clothing is encouraged (and we hear that there will be grog for the best dressed pirate), but please no sharp cutlasses or live parrots. There will be cake, snacks and live performers too.

Speakers from Frack Free Lancashire and Friends of the Earth will address a public meeting entitled 'Fracking, fossil fuels and alternatives for Lancashire' at Lancaster Friends Meeting House next door to Lancaster Train Station on Wednesday 3 December from 7.30pm - 9pm. We understand that mince pies & refreshments will be provided to help you keep your strength up.

On Saturday 6th December Lancaster Climate Action (LCA) will be hosting a  workshop with the aim of de-mystifying direct action and sharing useful action skills. This will happen 12 - 6pm somewhere in Lancaster, exact location to be confirmed! The day is free of charge. For more information contact sharon@seedsforchange.org.uk.

Planning Applications to Frak
The council has received applications from the energy firm to drill, frack, and test gas flows, with associated separate applications for environmental monitoring, at two sites in Lancashire - Preston New Road at Little Plumpton, and Roseacre Wood at Roseacre. (See previous news items)

Planners had already agreed with Cuadrilla that the Roseacre Wood application would be decided by 31 January and have now also agreed that the application for Preston New Road will be decided by the same date. It had previously been agreed that the Preston New Road application would be decided by New Year's Eve.

The planners have been working since the applications were received in June to consult with the public and other statutory agencies, and assess the applications, to ensure all the information needed to determine them is put before the Development Control Committee.

New Consultation
As part of this process further information on both sites has been provided by Cuadrilla. Evidently they believe that this strategy will negate the thousands of objections lodged already to their applications. Lancashire County Council is now holding a further consultation to allow for representations on the further information to be made.

The new determination date for the Preston New Road site will "allow time for any representations on the further information for both sites to be considered and addressed in the reports to be presented to the Development Control Committee when the applications are determined."

The consultation on the new arguments Cuadrilla have set forth started on Thursday 27 November, and was marked by a vociferous anti-fracking demonstration outside County Hall. It goes on until Friday 19 December and you can find it on the County Council website at
http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/planning/major-planning-applications/shale-gas-developments-in-lancashire.aspx

Information will also be made available at libraries in Lytham, St Annes, Ansdell and Kirkham, and at the offices of Fylde Borough Council in Lytham St Annes along with the applications and accompanying Environmental Statements.

No comments: