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£1m project to improve Preston's Winckley Square

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£1.2m funding has been approved for the regeneration of Winckley Square Gardens in Preston.

The improvements to the Gardens include the restoration of the Robert Peel statue, work to resolve the current flooding issues, new lighting, creating a social space, historical reference points and more.

It has been described as a 'big day in the history of Preston' and comes four years after a campaign to renovate the gardens was launched by the Winckley Square Community Interest Company (WSCIC). The money comes from The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund long with extra cash from a local businesses fund. . The project is due to start next year. Find out more here.

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"We're delighted to see so much hard work come to fruition. We started this campaign because we felt Winckley Square was in danger of permanent decline. By the community coming together we have managed to create and fund an exciting new future for everyone connected with the Square.

"A huge thanks must go to all our partners for making this happen.

"I'm sure everyone connected with Preston can't wait to see this sympathetic, yet transformational restoration come alive."

– David Gill, Winckley Square Community Interest Company

Decision expected on second fracking site in Lancashire

A decision is expected to be made on weather fracking can take place at a site in Lancashire.

Energy giant Cuadrilla want's to start exploration work at Little Plumpton, and top planning officials recommend it does go ahead despite opposition from residents.

Fracking was suspended in the UK in 2011 following earth tremors in Blackpool where Cuadrilla previously drilled.

Protestors against fracking gather outside Preston County Hall Credit: PA Images

Last week officials rejected a bid for Rosacre. Lancashire County Council voted unanimously in favour of rejecting the proposal by Cuadrilla because of the impact of increased traffic particularly of HGVs on local roads.

Keep up to date on the debate here.

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Councillors refuse application for fracking at Roseacre Wood site

Credit: Granada

Councillors in Lancashire have refused an application for a proposed fracking site at Roseacre Wood.

Lancashire County Council voted unanimously in favour of rejecting the proposal by Cuadrilla because of the impact of increased traffic particularly of HGVs on local roads.

The planning committee had recommended the council reject the proposal last week.

Councillors in Lancashire consider second fracking site application

The site at Roseacre Wood Credit: Granada Reports

Councillors in Lancashire are considering a second application to build a site for fracking in Lancashire.

The proposed site at Roseacre was initially recommended for rejection by Lancashire County Council because of the likely impact of HGVs on local traffic.

There were chaotic scenes yesterday when the Council deferred a decision on a different proposed site at Preston New Road until Monday.

The applications by Cuadrilla - an oil and gas exploration and production company - would be the first accepted by any council in the country if Lancashire County Council chooses to go ahead with either site.

Councillors to decide on Lancashire fracking sites

Credit: Granada Reports

Councillors in Lancashire are likely to decide today whether to give the green light to fracking for shale gas in Lancashire.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wants to develop two new sites between Preston and Blackpool to explore for shale gas by drilling, fracking and testing the flow of gas.

A report from Lancashire County Council planning officials recommended that one of the sites - at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton - be passed subject to a number of conditions being met such as hours of working, control of noise and highway matters.

Fracking was suspended in the UK in 2011 following earth tremors in Blackpool where Cuadrilla previously drilled.

Yesterday about 70 speakers - both for and against the Preston New Road proposal - argued their case before the 15 members of the council's development control committee.

That committee is now debating the issues in public, at County Hall in Preston, before voting.

Committee members will also meet on Thursday and Friday to rule on plans by Cuadrilla for a second site at Roseacre Wood, Roseacre.

Planning officials recommended that application be turned down because of the increase in traffic which would result in "an unacceptable impact" on rural roads and reduce road safety.

The Government is pushing for the development of a shale gas industry in the UK, claiming it would create jobs and growth, reduce energy prices and cut the country's reliance on gas imports.

Opponents have raised fears that the process causes earthquakes, can pollute water supplies, and could lead to inappropriate development in the countryside and damage house prices.

Hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas trapped in it.

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Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood weighs into fracking debate

Vivienne Westwood joined protestors at Preston as councillors decide whether to give two sites the go ahead for shale gas drilling.

The designer claims politicians were failing to properly inform the public on the fracking debate.

A decision on the Preston New Road application at Little Plumpton is expected later today.

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