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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Fracking in Lancashire halted at last minute by legal challenge

Hours after announcing fracking operations were to begin in Lancashire next week, drilling company Cuadrilla now faces further delays after a successful injunction was brought against the firm.

Fracking in Lancashire halted at last minute by legal challenge

The injunction request was made to the courts by Lancashire resident Bob Dennett, and is the latest victory for campaigners who have repeatedly thwarted efforts to extract shale gas in England.

It means Cuadrilla must await the findings of a judicial review, also by Mr Dennett, which asserts Lancashire County Council's emergency response planning is inadequate.

But the company has described the judicial review claim, which focuses on the Preston New Road site, as "hopelessly weak".

A full injunction hearing, expected to take place on Wednesday 10 October, will decide whether the injunction is upheld or whether fracking can commence while the judicial review over emergency procedures is outstanding.

Liz Hutchins, Friends of the Earth director of campaigns, said: "The environmental risks of fracking are well documented and issues regarding safety at the Preston New Road site have been raised before.

"It's right that local people continue to highlight these concerns, through the courts if necessary."

Cuadrilla is planning to begin an explorative hydraulic fracturing programme lasting three months, releasing natural gas more than 2km below the surface.

If it eventually goes ahead, it will be the first time any fracking has been undertaken in the UK since the company caused two minor earthquakes nearby.

Read more at the Independent.