Hundreds of anti-fracking campaigners outside the county hall in Preston, where the verdict was announced, reacted with delight and cheers, and people in the council chamber applauded.
The surprise rejection is for a site at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton on the Fylde, where Cuadrilla had hoped to drill four wells and undertake exploratory fracking for shale gas. The Council had already refused permission for Cuadrilla to frack at Roseacre last week.
A major new scientific study has concluded that the controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking poses a “significant” risk to human health and British wildlife, and that an EU-wide moratorium should be implemented until widespread regulatory reform is undertaken.
The damning report by the CHEM Trust, the British charity that investigates the harm chemicals cause humans and wildlife, highlights serious shortcomings in the UK’s regulatory regime, which the report says will only get worse as the Government makes further budget cuts.
It also warns of severe risks to human health if the new Conservative government tries to fast-track fracking of shale gas across the UK. The “scale of commercial fracking” unleashed by the Government’s eagerness to exploit the technique “should not be underestimated”, it cautions.
Read more in the Independent on Sunday.
You can read the CHEM Trust report on their website.
The fracking trade organisation UKOOG have criticised the report, read the CHEM Trust’s response.
The application was originally posted on 22nd May, and it was expected that it would be validated within 48 hours. The delay is a blow to the energy company, who have had months to polish their application after a scoping opinion was posted earlier in the year.
Frack Free Ryedale are demanding to know why the application failed its validation test and has called on Third Energy to come clean on what went wrong. Chris Redston of Frack Free Ryedale commented, “The fact that NYCC were unable to validate this application after nearly three weeks of negotiation with Third Energy is unlikely to fill anyone with confidence that the company would be able to frack ‘safely and discreetly’.”
Russell Scott, of Frack Free North Yorkshire, added, “If Third Energy can’t even get the paperwork right, what chance is there that they would be able to frack safely?”
You can read a report on this in the Gazette & Herald.