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Court to decide on possible injunction to delay fracking at Lancashire site

It follows an announcement from Lancashire shale gas firm Cuadrilla to kick-start hydraulic fracturing operations later this week.

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Court to decide on possible injunction to delay fracking at Preston New Road site

A move to lodge an injunction and delay plans to start fracking at the Preston New Road will be decided later this week.

 

Lancashire shale gas firm Cuadrilla announced it would start fracking at the site later this week but has since been stopped in its tracks after a local anti-fracking campaigner lodged a request for Preston Crown Court to issue an injunction.

 

Speaking about the decision, which will be made on Wednesday (October 10), a Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “We remain confident that we and Lancashire County Council have undertaken all necessary risk assessments and have thorough emergency response safety procedures in place.

 

“This is clearly a last ditch attempt at delaying our efforts to find a new source of much needed natural gas for the UK which is a national imperative.


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“We consider that the grounds for Judicial Review are hopelessly weak and will vigorously defend any call for an injunction.”

 

It followed the sentencing of three anti-fracking campaigners who were jailed on the grounds of causing a public nuisance after climbing onto lorries at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road side in July during a protest which lasted 99 hours.

 

Frack Free Four

Two men have been jailed for 16 months, with the other for 15 months. A fourth man was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 18-months after pleading guilty at an earlier Preston Crown Court hearing.

 

All four are believed to be the first anti-fracking protestors in the UK to be locked up.

The hashtag #FrackFreeFour has since been launched on social media to continue support for anti-fracking campaigners still out in force as the three men attempt to appeal their sentences - something environment campaigner George Monbiot publically branded a ‘political sentencing’.

 

But Lancashire for Shale chairman Lee Petts said: “There are countless sites across Lancashire with similar risk profiles to an operational shale gas pad – including a gas pressure reduction site just off the A583 in Kirkham surround by homes and businesses – that do not require emergency plans of the kind campaigners are demanding of the shale gas industry.”

 

A decision will be made at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday (October 10) about whether an interim injunction should be granted.

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