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  1. ITV Report

Planning permission refused for second Lancashire Fracking site

Photo: ITV Granada

Planning permission has been refused by the Government for a fracking site in Lancashire, after an appeal by energy firm Cuadrilla.

Roseacre Wood is one of two sites in Fylde which were originally refused permission by Lancashire County Council, but which went to public inquiry and a decision from the Government after Cuadrilla appealed.

In October 2016, ministers gave the go-ahead for fracking at Preston New Road.

And the then communities secretary Sajid Javid said he was "minded" to allow Cuadrilla's appeal and grant planning permission at Roseacre Wood if highway safety issues linked to the large articulated lorries that would be going to and from the site could be dealt with.

But in a decision published today, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission for the drilling and fracking of four wells at the site.

Efforts to address concerns about the high number of HGVs using country lanes around the site - which are also used by cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders as well as other vehicles - "fall short" of what is needed.

In the absence of satisfactory measures to deal with road safety, the development "would have a serious and very significant adverse impact on the safety of people using the public highway", the decision said.

Credit: ITV Granada Reports

This is fantastic news that will come as a huge relief to Roseacre residents.

It's also a triumph for the tireless campaigners who have worked long and hard for this outcome.

But many other communities across England are still faced with the threat of fracking so the Government must also listen to them and accept that this industry is completely unviable.

With scientists warning that there is so little time left to get on top of climate change, it's clearer than ever that the future lies in clean, renewable energy.

– Jamie Peters, campaigner for Friends of the Earth

Cuadrilla began fracking at Preston New Road last October, but has had to halt operations on several occasions because tremors were detected above allowable limits.

Both Cuadrilla and another shale firm Ineos have called for the Government to relax the rules on seismic activity linked to fracking, but ministers have said they have no plans to review the regulations.

We are naturally disappointed about the decision on Roseacre Wood and will examine the details in full before reaching a position.

However, we continue to be focused on the shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, where we have recently released very encouraging flow test results from the UK's first horizontal shale gas well.

Cuadrilla and its investors remain committed to this opportunity and the overall prize for the UK, which includes energy security, jobs and revenue for the country.

– Cuadrilla Spokesperson