Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Fracking to start in Lancashire after legal challenge fails

Fracking to start in Lancashire after legal challenge fails

Energy company Cuadrilla will begin fracking Britain's first horizontal shale-gas well on Saturday after the High Court in London dismissed a last-minute request for an injunction by environmentalists.

The failed legal challenge was brought by an environmental campaigner who claimed Lancashire County Council's emergency response planning and procedures were inadequate.

But the judge ruled today there was "no serious issue".

Fracking will restart in the United Kingdom for the first time in seven years on Saturday after campaigners lost a late legal challenge against Lancashire County Council (LCC).

She added: "It is extremely important to my client that we know where we are by tomorrow lunchtime".

In a statement after the ruling, Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said: "We are delighted to be starting our hydraulic fracturing operations as planned".

"If commercially recoverable this will displace costly imported gas, with lower emissions, significant economic benefit and better security of energy supply for the United Kingdom", said Egan.

Cuadrilla's first attempts to frack in Lancashire were brought to an immediate halt in April 2011 after triggering a minor natural disaster in the area and raising fears over the safety of the extraction method.

The process will be allowed to go ahead after Mr Justice Supperstone said there was "no evidence" to show it should have been categorised as posing more than a medium risk.

The judge also refused permission for a judicial review of Lancashire County Council's emergency planning procedures regarding the site.

"In a week in which the scale of action needed to avert climate chaos has dominated the headlines, isn't it time the industry and the Government walk away from fracking and invest in a renewable energy future instead?"

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