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Fashion designer backs anti fracking campaigners

Dame Vivienne Westwood has added her voice to the fracking debate in the region. The fashion designer, best known for haute couture for the stars, said the controversial shale gas technique should be stopped immediately.

Dame Vivienne, has been actively campaigning for some time. In March she joined a huge demonstration in London. She's been to Manchester as part of a tour voicing her concerns about fracking and said politicians need to listen.

Fracking benefits 'hyped' says MP

A Labour MP has accused the Government of "hyping up expectations" over the extraction of shale gas. Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said gas was an "important part of our energy mix" but her party wants "more stringent benchmark testing" a before drilling starts.

Protestors gathered at Barton Moss in Salford for months in protest against test drilling by Igas. There are also a number of sites in Lancashire earmarked for the controversial process by Cuadrilla.

Ms Flint told Sky News' Murnaghan programme:

One of the problems I think we've got is the Government has taken a tack to really hype up expectations about shale gas. I think only last week some geologists just said well actually it may be more difficult than we think even if it's there to get it out the ground. I don't think the Government have helped the debate. They've also posed shale gas against renewables and even against looking at biogas, gas from waste and that hasn't helped this debate."

I think the public want a common sense approach to this, one that is reasonable, that understands that we need gas, but if we're going to discover it through shale, we do it in a way that's safe and sound.

The Queen's Speech this week is expected to include an infrastructure and competitiveness Bill which would change trespass laws to allow shale gas exploration firms to drill beneath private property without needing the owners' permission.


Cuadrilla to submit planing application to drill at sites in Lancashire

The proposed fracking sites in Lancashire Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources is due to submit a planning application to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from two wells at two new sites in Lancashire.

The planing application to Lancashire County Council will be submitted by the end of the month.

Cuadrilla's chief executive Francis Egan said:

"This application could be a really important milestone for Lancashire and the UK as we seek to unlock Lancashire's shale gas potential.

"The development of the shale gas industry has the potential to bring significant investment, community benefits and opportunities for local people and the North West and UK economies."

"We have undertaken extensive consultation and engagement with the local communities on these application and have listened carefully to what people have told us. Where it has been reasonably practical to do so we have amended our plans to incorporate feedback and suggestions".

Fracking should be an"urgent national priority"

The Government should go all out for shale gas.

That is the view of an influential committee from the House of Lords who say fracking for shale gas should be an urgent national priority to deliver secure energy, jobs and a cleaner environment.

Several sites have been earmarked for exploratory drilling in the North West - virtually everywhere they spring up, they are met by strong local opposition.

Daniel Hewitt reports.

Anti fracking protest to be held in Blackpool

Anti-fracking campaigners will protest against plans to 'frack' for shale gas in the Bowland Shale. The two proposed sites are at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road.

It's in response to a visit from Government Minister Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Business and Energy. He will meet with representatives from North West businesses throughout the day to discuss what they can gain from the controversial drilling process.

Cuadrilla say they have consulted with over 9000 households and gven them the opportunity to find out more about their plans.

Cuadrilla is committed to being a good neighbour and to talking to local residents and community representatives at every stage of the process.

We announced in February the proposed locations for the two new exploration sites in the Fylde to understand the full potential of Lancashire's gas resources.

– Francis Egan, Chief Executive.

Protests continue at anti-fracking camp as campaigners appeal against eviction

Police and protesters clashed at Barton Moss minutes after judges in the Court of Appeal agreed to review a decision to evict an anti-fracking camp.

Campaigners attempted to slow-march in front of lorries destined for a drilling site, which is being tested for shale gas.


Fracking protest 'heated' amid possible appeal

An ITV reporter says the atmosphere became "heated" Credit: ITV

Anti-fracking protesters in Salford exchanged heated words with police officers, after hearing that judges could look again at plans to force them from their protest camp.

The demonstrators had been given until midday today to leave the site at Barton Moss, under an order granted to landowners Peel.

But the encamped activists gained a stay from eviction, while judges in the Appeal Court decide whether to review the case.

The exchanges eventually "cooled" at the site Credit: ITV

ITV News reporter, Daniel Hewitt, said the atmosphere eventually cooled and police got the situation "under more control". He says protesters returned to singing, rather than shouting.

Anti-fracking protesters stay for possible appeal

Protesters camped outside the drill site Credit: PA

Anti-fracking groups camped outside an exploratory drill site in Salford, are staying put while the Appeal Court considers an eviction order.

The landowner, Peel, secured the right to remove demonstrators from their land at Barton Moss.

That order was due to become effective at midday today, but senior judges will now decide whether to re-examine the case.

It means protesters will add another few days to a campaign that began late last year. They surrounded the site when another firm, iGas, began testing for gas.

Time is running out for anti-fracking campaigners

Camp at Barton Moss Credit: PA

Anti-fracking protesters at a drill site in Salford have until midday today to vacate their camp or be evicted.

A judge granted a possession order to landowners Peel Holdings yesterday.

The protesters have been camped at the site since last November protesting against iGas who are test drilling for shale gas.

Their demonstrations have triggered a large scale police operation to ensure trucks, equipment and staff can reach the drill site.

VIDEO: Eviction notice served on anti-fracking protesters

An eviction notice has been served on anti-fracking protesters camped outside an exploratory drilling site in Salford.

The protesters have until tomorrow lunchtime to leave the site at Barton Moss, if they cannot appeal the possession order won today by the landowner Peel Investments.

Some have already decided to leave, but they say the fight against drilling for shale gas continues.

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