Campaigns win right to appeal Little Plumpton fracking decision

image captionCampaigners claim there were "legal errors" when fracking was permitted in Little Plumpton

Campaigners have won the right to appeal against a government decision to allow fracking at a site in Lancashire.

Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) claim there were "legal errors" when approval was given to allow shale gas to be extracted in Little Plumpton.

The Court of Appeal granted a leave to appeal on grounds including the government misinterpreted and wrongly applied policy.

Energy firm Cuadrilla was "confident consent will not be overturned".

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid approved plans for fracking to take place at Cuadrilla's site in Preston New Road in October 2016, overturning Lancashire County Council's decision.

PNRAG's legal representative Rowan Smith, from Leigh Day solicitors, said the appeal was based on four legal errors:

  • Misinterpreting a policy protecting against harm to the landscape
  • Wrongly applying the National Planning Policy Framework
  • Denying a fair hearing during the planning inquiry
  • Using a "wildly different test" for assessing the impact on the quality of life of those living nearby

PNRAG is hoping the appeal will be heard before Cuadrilla starts drilling at the site in July.

A Cuadrilla spokeswoman said: "Cuadrilla will actively defend the appeals and is confident that the planning consents will not be overturned."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionShale rock will be fracked at the Preston New Road site

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