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Lancashire County Council want more time to consider fracking

Energy firm Cuadrilla is seeking planning permission in four sites in the Flyde area. Credit: PA

Energy firm Cuadrilla is seeking planning permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells on the sites in the Fylde area.

Councillors at Lancashire County Council were due to make a decision on both applications next month, with drilling likely to start early next year if approved then and fracking to follow several months later.

But now planning officials want the decision deadline to go back to December 31 for the proposed site at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton and to January 31 next year for the similar site at Roseacre Wood in Inskip.

The planners have been working since the applications were received in June to consult with the public and other statutory agencies, and assess the applications, to ensure all the information needed to determine them is put before the Development Control Committee.

The council has now written to Cuadrilla asking for further time to receive, organise, assess, and present all the relevant information for the application to be determined by the committee.

– Lancashire County Council

Test drilling was suspended in the Lancashire's Bowland basin in June 2011, following two earthquakes in the area in April and May of that year, one with a magnitude of 2.3 and the other 1.4, with the epicentre thought to be about 500 metres away from a well in Weeton, Lancashire.

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