Sajid Javid will rule this week on Cuadrilla Resources’ much-delayed attempt to frack for shale gas near Blackpool. The ruling, which the communities and local government secretary is expected to unveil at the Conservative party conference, will mark the latest twist in a long saga. Cuadrilla and other “frackers” have been hamstrung for years by environmental activists, nimbys, and planning issues. The decision will be closely watched by the industry and its opponents, who claim that allowing the controversial drilling technique would “industrialise” swathes of the countryside. Cuadrilla, a private company backed by FTSE 100 giant Centrica, has not drilled since 2010, when its activities were found to have caused two small earth tremors near Blackpool. A Whitehall review, protests, and a rejection by the local council halted Cuadrilla’s work. The planning inspectorate handed a confidential report to Department for Communities and Local Government 3 months ago. It is now up to Javid to decide if Cuadrilla can move ahead. Industry sources said that one possible outcome was that he would reject the application for one site, Roseacre Wood, where locals have objected over the potential increased traffic, but wave through the other at Preston New Road.
Times 2nd Oct 2016 read more »