The appeals have been submitted by Cuadrilla to the Planning Inspectorate following Lancashire County Council's decision to refuse planning permission for shale gas exploration wells and associated infrastructure at two sites – Preston New Road, Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood. Along with the appeals in respect of the substantive drilling and fracking works at the two sites, the inquiry will also deal with an appeal against the decision to refuse permission for the installation of monitoring equipment at the Preston New Road site and against a condition imposed on the grant of permission for the installation of monitoring equipment at the Roseacre Wood site.
Estelle Dehon, instructed by Friends of the Earth with assistance from Matt Lewin, Ashley Bowes, instructed by the Preston New Road Action Group and Robin Green and Jack Parker, instructed by the Roseacre Awareness Group will be involved in the conjoined planning inquiry which is listed to take place in February 2016.
Both Estelle and Ashley were involved in the hearings before the Committee on 18-19 June at which Lancashire County Council refused the applications for the fracking sites. Estelle is also involved in challenging, by an application for judicial review on behalf of local residents, the single grant of permission made by the Council for monitoring works at Roseacre Wood.
The appeals will be the first time the Government's policy on fracking will be applied by a Government Inspector to individual applications. In so doing the appeals will bring into conflict two Government flagship planning initiatives: the fast-tracking of fracking exploration and localism.