Activists’ 6,000 name claim

Greenpeace activitsts at County Hall
Greenpeace activitsts at County Hall
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Anti-fracking activists claim that opposition to gas extraction taking place on the Fylde is growing as residents sign up to their campaigns.

Greenpeace, which staged a protest outside County Hall in Preston, said it now had collected nearly 6,000 county residents’ signatures on a petition which urges David Cameron to ditch fracking or supporting a legal block to stop under-house drilling.

It said the number of people backing calls to stop shale gas developments in the region has trebled in the last six months.

Fracking firm Cuadrilla has submitted planning applications for shale gas exploration at two sites in Lancashire – Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood on the Fylde.

A decision by the council planning committee on whether to grant permission is due in October and Greenpeace said its protest yesterday was to highlight the strength of opposition to councillors set to make a decision.

Greenpeace’s Simon Clydesdale said: “The decision over whether to give the green light to Cuadrilla’s fracking plans in Lancashire will have huge repercussions for thousands of local people.

“These two applications are just the thin end of the wedge – Caudrilla is spearheading a shale rush in the region that could lead to thousands of wells smeared across Lancashire.

“Thousands of people are urging them to protect this region from the threat of fracking - they should listen.”

And campaigners on the Fylde backed Greenpeace’s call and are staging their own fracking event on Lytham Green near the windmill from 2pm on Saturday.

Bob Bennett from Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking said: “It is going to be a Gathering on the Green for people who love Lancashire to say no to fracking. It will be family friendly and picnic friendly.

“We have something like 3,500 letters signed opposing planning permission fracking on the Fylde, the County Council has already had approximately 2,000 and so together with Greenpeace’s petition and Friends of the Earth around 4,000 it shows the growing opposition.”

A Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “Regarding our planning applications for exploration works at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, we believe they are an important milestone for Lancashire as we seek to unlock its shale gas potential. The majority of the energy used in the UK to heat homes, provide hot water and to cook with comes from natural gas and the potential of shale gas is important to the security of this supply. The development of the industry has the potential to bring significant investment and jobs.”