Government approves Fracking in Lancashire
In a hugely unpopular move the Uk government has approved a fracking site in Lancashire it was confirmed on Thursday. Sajid Javid, the communities minister, made the decision and has approved the extraction of shale gas from Preston New Road, near to Blackpool.
A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "The Communities Secretary has today allowed three planning appeals related to two proposed shale gas exploration and monitoring sites in Lancashire.
"The decisions follow extensive consideration of all the evidence, including an independent planning inspector's report and evidence submitted during a two-week public inquiry."
Despite reassurances from the government the local communities surrounding the site are furious and have been protesting the moves for years. Research and evidence from many areas around the world including the USA and Canada have shown that the controversial practice can contaminate water supplies and even lead to gas seeping in the surrounding lakes and ponds. Other side effects cited have even been earthquakes.
In mid-2015, Lancashire County Council rejected a planning application from Cuadrilla, the company involved, to carry out fracking at the two sites on the basis that the work would cause too much traffic and noise. Soon after, the power was transferred to Mr Javid’s office to rule on the decision and change it if an applicant could argue it was in the wider interest. The decision was attacked by environmental groups and people living in the communities affected.
Licences have been granted to explore for the potential to frack across swathes of southern and northern England. Theresa May said earlier this year that homes hit by the process could receive thousands of pounds in payouts. But with many of the areas that could be affected represented by Conservative MPs, the issue has the potential to divide the government.