Campaigners fighting to overturn a Government decision to approve a fracking site in Lancashire are back in court next week for the latest round of their legal battle.
Their case will be heard by Court of Appeal judges in London on Wednesday following a defeat at the High Court earlier this year.
The appeal follows a decision in April by Mr Justice Dove to dismiss judicial review actions brought by environmental campaigner Gayzer Frackman and the Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG).
They had urged the judge to rule that the decision to grant a planning application for the site in Fylde was not fair or lawful.
Mr Justice Dove was told the planning application by developer Cuadrilla was refused by Lancashire County Council in 2015, but later granted following an appeal and a planning inquiry.
The scheme was given the go-ahead in October by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
Campaigners will now continue their fight at a two-day hearing before leading judges.
Anti-fracking campaigners are staging a second day of protests outside a shale gas exploration site in Lancashire.Read the full story ›
Protesters brought traffic to a standstill outside a shale gas exploration site today as they staged a human chain demonstration across a road to show their opposition to fracking.
The fracking company is describing the action as 'utterly selfish and attention seeking'.
Lancashire Police had to be called out to the site on Preston New Road.
- Ashley Derricott reports from the scene.
Campaigners fighting a Government decision to approve a fracking site in Lancashire have lost a High Court action.Read the full story ›
Anti fracking protestors from Lancashire are at the High Court today, challenging a Government decision to allow fracking on the Preston New Road site.
The County Council had initially refused planning permission for Cuadrilla to explore the site, but the decision was overturned by the Secretary of State.
The appeal by a local residents' group is expected to last until Friday.
“Whilst we are respectful of the democratic right of the two parties who have issued statutory challenges against the Govt. decision to grant us planning permission, Cuadrilla is actively defending the challenges and we are confident that the planning consents will not be overturned"
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 ›