Energy firm Cuadrilla say they've started construction work to begin fracking at a site in Lancashire.
Cuadrilla were given permission to frack at the Preston New Road site in Little Plumpton after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid approved the plans in October. That was despite Lancashire County Council refusing the plans on the grounds of noise and traffic.
Campaigners have said the decision made a mockery of local government.
It's thought the initial construction work will take around three months before any fracking can begin.
The start of work on our new shale gas exploration site is an important milestone for Lancashire, bringing new economic growth and jobs for the County. The work will be undertaken to the highest safety and environmental standards. The operations are also underpinned by comprehensive site monitoring programmes undertaken separately by ourselves, regulators and independent academics. Twelve months from now we hope this work will prove the economic viability of this indigenous shale gas resource in Lancashire which will help improve energy security for the nation.
Gillian Wood, from Blackpool, who was at the Preston New Road site today, said: "As someone who lives in the local area, I'm shocked that Cuadrilla has started moving in with their trucks and equipment, especially when two legal challenges still aren't resolved.
"A record number of people objected to the council, and we were listened to when the council decided to not let fracking happen. It's appalling that this is being forced on us, our countryside and our climate, and we won't stand for it."
Formal legal proceedings have now been issued at the High Court against the Government’s decision to grant permission for fracking in Lancashire.
The legal challenge has been issued by the Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG).
They argue that the Government’s decision to overrule Lancashire County Council’s refusal of planning permission for fracking in Fylde is unlawful because the decision is fundamentally flawed as it failed to properly apply relevant planning laws and policy.
“Our clients believe that the government has made significant legal errors in overturning the Council’s refusal of planning permission to allow fracking on the site.
“For example, the decision appears to have been taken in breach of the Council's development plan, which restricts these types of developments, as well as in breach of the correct planning law tests. “This matters to our clients, some of whom live within 300 metres of the proposed site, because they fear that any development, which is not granted in compliance with these laws and policy, would be unsafe and unsustainable for the local area.”
Thousands of protestors have marched in Manchester in demonstration against the expansion of fracking.
They came from all over the country to show their opposition to a method of natural gas extraction which the government has said it supports.
Our reporter Ian Barber was there.
Anti-fracking protestors have demonstrated against a government decision to approve drilling in Lancashire, even after it was rejected by the county council.
Protestors say local voices are being ignored.
The gas company Cuadrilla plans to drill from the spring.
- Watch Tim Scott's report:
Residents near a proposed fracking site in Lancashire say no amount of money is enough in exchange for the potential damage and disruption.Read the full story ›
Celebrity sisters Emma and Sophie Thompson have broken a court injunction by peacefully occupying a potential fracking site in Lancashire.Read the full story ›
Oscar nominated actor Mark Ruffalo calls on PM to abandon fracking and leave fossil fuels in the groundRead the full story ›
Police officers and bailiffs have moved in to an anti-fracking site near to Chester to enforce an eviction order issued by the High Court.
The site, leased by fracking company IGas Energy, is situated on Duttons Lane, in Upton, Cheshire, and is the longest running anti-fracking camp in the country.
It has been fortified with tunnels, tree houses and a moat.
The move by police and bailiffs comes two months after protesters were ordered to leave so drilling could begin.
The protesters have now locked themselves in tunnels and on high platforms to slow down the eviction process.
Police officers and bailiffs are due to move in to an anti-fracking site near to Chester to enforce eviction order issued by the High Court.Read the full story ›
An anti-fracking campaigner from Lancashire has been on hunger strike for 15 days outside Downing Street.Read the full story ›