Cuadrilla welcomes the High Court verdict handed down by The Hon. Mr Justice Dove today (12th April) which dismisses the two claims made against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid’s, decision to grant planning consent for its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, Lancashire.
Francis Egan, CEO, Cuadrilla said: “We are very pleased that the Planning Inspector’s recommendation and the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning consent has been upheld by the High Court. We respected the democratic right of those opposed to this consent to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision.
“However, we always remained confident that the planning consent would stand, particularly after such a lengthy and thorough review of the application and positive recommendations for approval by both the professional Planning Officers at Lancashire County Council and subsequently, an experienced Planning Inspector.
“This is also great news for all those local businesses and workers in Lancashire that are currently, and will in the future, be benefiting from the increased revenue and job opportunities that our operations are bringing to the county. Work continues on the construction of the exploration site and we look forwards to progressing to the drilling stage of our operations within the next couple of months.”
Responding to today’s announcement Babs Murphy, Chief Executive, North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “This decision was recommended by the Planning Officer and the independent Planning Inspector, approved by the Secretary of State and now the Courts.
“This democratic decision allows the development of a viable shale industry in Lancashire which will have positive economic implications for the region in terms of investment, jobs and supply chain engagement. Today’s announcement means that local businesses will be in pole position for future shale gas supply chain opportunities in the County.
“The Chamber looks forward to working together with key stakeholders and the business community to ensure that Lancashire reaps the rewards of this new industry.”
Lancashire For Shale spokesman added: “We are delighted with the outcome of today’s Judicial Review verdict. As far as we are concerned, the High Court has vindicated the previous decision of the Secretary of State and it is the only sensible and logical decision they could have reached.
“We believe that this decision underpins the planning consent granted, and that shale gas exploration will continue to be beneficial for the people and economy of Lancashire
“We call on the activists to stop disrupting Cuadrilla’s supply chain and local road users near to the site, by accepting this democratic decision. Let’s move forward, based on the fact that justice has been served.”