Thousands sign up for protest against fracking

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Anti-fracking campaigners have handed in another 3,000 objection letters to Lancashire County Council over a bid to test for gas in two sites on the Fylde.

Representatives from Frack Free Lancashire, an umbrella body of more than 20 protest groups from across the county, will hand in the signed objection letters to County Hall.

The campaigners said the extra signatures have brought the Frack Free Lancashire total so far to more than 8,000, while the total responses received by Lancashire County council, to date, is 20,000.

It comes after Fylde Council announced it was objecting to gas exploration company Cuadrilla’s two planning applications to frack for shale gas at Plumpton Hall Farm, Preston New Road, Westby, and at Roseacre Hall Farm, near Treales.

Cuadrilla has expressed disappointment with the vote saying all the councillors’ concerns had been addressed in its environmental impact assessment report.

A Cuadrilla spokesman said: “The north west has a great opportunity to lead the way in discovering the potential to recover natural gas from Lancashire’s shale by going ahead with these temporary, exploration operations.

“This will help drive local job creation, economic growth in the Fylde as well as make a major contribution to tax revenue and future national energy security.”

However, local campaign groups were pleased. Barbara Richardson, from Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “We welcome Fylde Council’s decision to object to Cuadrilla’s plans. Their objection is a very helpful step forward and hopefully will encourage Lancashire County Council to do the same in November. “

Ebony Ava Johnson, of Frack Free Lancashire, said: “There has been phenomenal support for the campaign, which reinforces the strength of opposition against shale gas in Lancashire.

“Lancashire residents are saying loud and clear that Cuadrilla has no social licence to operate here.“

Fylde councillors’ objections will be passed on to the county council which is due to decide on the planning applications in November.