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Lancashire County Councillors reject fracking plans

Fracking work at the Little Plumpton site Credit: Peter Byrne / PA Wire

County councillors have rejected plans to frack for shale gas in Lancashire, according to reports.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to undertake exploratory drilling and fracking at a site in Little Plumpton, between Preston and Blackpool.

Planning officials recommended approval of the operation subject to a number of conditions but the council's development control committee have rejected the advice and voted against it by 10 to four.

Members of the public stood up and applauded the decision as the motion was passed.

The Government has said it is going "all out for shale", and claims it the controversial procedure would create jobs and growth, as well as reducing energy prices and cutting the country's reliance on gas imports.

However opponents insist that the process, which pumps water underground to release gas trapped in shale rock, causes earthquakes, can pollute water supplies, and could lead to inappropriate development in the countryside.

Seamer Jarvis inspires Lancashire win

Kyle Jarvis got five wickets in the second innings. Credit: PA

Kyle Jarvis completed match figures of nine for 106 as Lancashire strengthened their position at the top of the LV= County Championship Second Division table with a 91-run win over Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The Zimbabwean seamer claimed five for 39, including four wickets in the space of 17 balls, to induce a second innings collapse by the hosts from 113 for two to 160 all out as they chased a victory target of 252.

Five young boys arrested over 'rape of teen girls'

Five young boys aged between just 12 and 15 have been arrested on suspicion of raping two teenage girls in broad daylight.

The girls, both 14, were attacked on a cycle path between Out Moss Lane and Central Drive in Morecambe, Lancashire, on Saturday afternoon.

The attack happened in Morecambe, Lancashire, on Saturday afternoon Credit: PA

Three 12-year-old boys and two others aged 14 and 15, all from Morecambe, were later arrested on suspicion of rape and assault by touching. All five have been bailed until August while inquiries continue.

Police are now urging witnesses or anyone with information about the attack, which happened at around 3.15pm, to get in touch.

We are treating this extremely seriously and I would appeal for anyone who has any information or who witnessed anything to get in touch with us.

The girls involved are being supported by specially trained officers.

– Det Insp Jason Richards, Lancashire Police


Fracking firm 'confident' planning issues can be fixed

The fracking industry has received a setback by planning officers who recommended that proposals for two sites in Lancashire should be rejected over concerns about noise and traffic.

But while campaigners celebrated today, Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, told ITV News the objections focused on smaller local issues that the company says it is "confident can be addressed."

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman reports.

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Greenpeace says Lancashire councillors 'in the spotlight'

Greenpeace said it "applauds" the recommendation council officers published today and urged councillors to follow the advice.

The council now faces a clear choice: They can listen to the planners, and the Lancashire residents that elected them - almost two-thirds of whom want a moratorium on fracking.

Or they can kowtow to the corporate and political interests keen to force through fracking at almost any cost.

The whole country is looking to Lancashire to protect its communities from the unnecessary risks that fracking plays with our futures.

– Simon Clydesdale, Greenpeace
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