Thousands reject fracking

Thousands of people have voiced their objections to plans to drill for shale gas on the Fylde coast, it has been claimed.
Thousands of people have voiced their objections to plans to drill for shale gas on the Fylde coast, it has been claimed.
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Plans for a major Fylde coast fracking site have been given the thumbs down by thousands of residents, according to a campaign group.

Friends of the Earth said more than 3,500 people had submitted objections over Cuadrilla’s proposals for the site off Preston New Road near Little Plumpton.

The group said a further 1,500 letters of objections had been gathered by the Frack Free Lancashire campaign, which they intend to submit to Lancashire County Council this week.

Helen Rimmer, of Friends of the Earth, said thousands of people had submitted emails from a template on their website, with their own details and objections.

She added: “People in Lancashire and across the UK are sending a clear message that Cuadrilla’s fracking plans are strongly opposed on environmental and community impact grounds.

“The applications to frack multiple wells in the Fylde are of national interest as the area is nationally important for food production and wildlife protection, and what happens here will affect the future of the fracking industry across the country.”

Last month the shale gas company submitted a planning application for permission to drill, frack and test gas flow at up to four wells at Roseacre Wood near Kirkham.

The documents are now open to public scrutiny.

It followed a similar bid at Preston New Road and both include an environmental impact assessment from consultants Arup.

County Hall bosses said they couldn’t confirm an official figure for residents’ objections as not all had been recorded.

But Friends of the Earth said the objections had been submitted within a fortnight, ahead of the official closing date to the consultation tomorrow.

Ebony Johnson of Frack Free Lancashire, an alliance of 17 local groups across the county, said: “More than 1,500 people have already signed objection letters which we will be delivering to the county council, and we are now raising awareness with local residents who have so far been excluded from Cuadrilla’s consultation. Everyone has the right to object to these applications and we’re encouraging anyone concerned about fracking to do so before it’s too late.”

Cuadrilla declined to comment until an official number was confirmed.