Cuadrilla, the UK’s fracking pioneer, has submitted its planning application for a new site in Lancashire, where the company wants to drill four new exploratory wells.
The application to drill at Preston New Road will be considered by Lancashire county council, with a decision likely within 16 weeks, and is likely to spark further protests of the kind that were seen last summer at its oil-drilling site in Balcombe, Sussex. If granted, the application would allow Cuadrilla to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the gas flow from up to four wells.
An environmental impact assessment has already been carried out, and should be available to the public within two weeks when the council has validated the documents. A formal consultation process in which local people can make their views known will then follow.
If gas is found to be readily accessible at the site, more wells are likely to be needed in the area during the production phase, which could take several years to get under way.
Cuadrilla applies for fracking permission in Lancashire