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Fracking demonstration brings traffic to a standstill

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.

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Lancashire fracking case goes to High Court

Credit: ITV News

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"

– Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla

Construction begins on Lancashire fracking site

Work can now begin in Little Plumpton Credit: PA

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.

– Francis Egan, CEO, Cuadrilla
There's been huge opposition to plans to frack in Lancashire Credit: ITV Granada

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."

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