Published: Thursday, 2nd July 2015
Members of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee this week voted unanimously to refuse energy company Cuadrilla’s application to explore for shale gas at a site near Blackpool.
The proposals included fracking. The application was refused on the grounds of noise and visual impact.
The committee also refused a separate application for the same site designed to enable Cuadrilla to monitor its operations. This was turned down because of concern over the impact on the landscape.
Members went against the recommendation of officials who said the proposals should be allowed, subject to conditions. The councillors also decided not to follow the advice from a top planning brief, David Manley QC of Kings Chambers.
Manley said: “I have not seen any evidence that could credibly justify a contrary conclusion – on any view, impacts are highly localised, temporary and reversible.”
Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “This is one of the biggest planning decisions ever put before Lancashire County Council. The development control committee has listened very carefully to many hours of evidence both for and against the proposal, and considered the report of the council’s planning officers.
“Each member of the committee has ultimately cast their vote based on the evidence they have heard and whether they think the proposal is acceptable in planning terms, and to the people they represent.”
Councillors last week refused an application for a separate site at Roseacre Wood. Officers had recommended refusal in that case.