Second fracking application refused

An application for fracking in Lancashire has been refused despite legal advice to councillors that their grounds would not stand up at appeal.

The application by Cuadrilla for exploration and fracking of shale gas at Preston New Road was refused on the grounds of noise and visual impact by nine councillors out of 14 on Lancashire County Council’s planning committee. 

Three of the councillors rejecting the application were Conservative, five Labour and one independent, while two Labour councillors and one Conservative voted in favour of the application. Two Conservative councillors abstained from the vote.

The committee had delayed the decision from Thursday after it received legal advice from David Manley QC. It stated that refusing the application on the grounds of visual impact, as had been suggested by councillors, would not stand up at a planning appeal since the council’s own landscape adviser had described the impact of the development as “moderate”. The council’s planning officers had recommended that the application be approved.

“In the absence of clear evidence to gainsay the views of the ...

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