Cuadrilla to leave Preese Hall site but may breach planning permission
Responding to fracking company Cuadrilla’s announcement today that it is to leave its Preese Hall site, where fracking caused earth tremors in April and May 2011, but that it will not meet the deadline for restoring it, Friends of the Earth’s North West Campaigner Helen Rimmer said: “Cuadrilla is yet again showing total disregard for planning rules. While it’s good news they are leaving the site, they need to clear up the mess they’ve made.They already had an extension of time to restore this site to its former use by the end of December this year, and have failed to meet that deadline.
“Cuadrilla claims to be a good neighbour – but disregarding conditions of their planning permission will add to the concerns of local communities.
“Instead of supporting a risky dash for gas, Lancashire County Council must take enforcement action against any breach of planning, and refuse further applications for dirty fracking.”
Friends of the Earth North West press release
Immediate release 17 December, contact Helen Rimmer 07940 006783, 0161 225 1745
Notes to editors:
1. Lancashire County Council granted an extension to Cuadrilla to restore the site at a Planning Committee meeting on 23rd January. In the planning report, officers called Cuadrilla’s request to extend their time limit to restore the site to December 2014 as ‘excessive’ (PDF) and granted them an extension to 31st December 2013. Cuadrilla were originally required to restore the site by 15 May 2011. Their announcement today indicates they are submitting a further request to extend the time despite nine months of inaction in which they could have fulfilled the terms of their planning permission.
2. Cuadrilla were also found to have breached a time limit for drilling at their Becconsall site in West Lancashire in 2011, drilling beyond the 30 September limit imposed to protect wintering birds.