The monitoring array comprises 80 buried seismic monitoring stations, 8 surface seismic monitoring stations and three boreholes, in a 4km radius of the proposed Roseacre Wood fracking exploration site. The array was granted planning permission even though the main fracking application at Roseacre Wood was refused permission.
Mrs Justice Lang decided that it was arguable that the Council had erred in law in granting the planning permission. She found it "particularly persuasive" that the Council arguably erred on the need for the array and the policy support for it in national policy, given that the array was intended as a mitigation measure for the main fracking proposal, which was recommended for refusal. She also found it "particularly persuasive" that the Council arguably failed to take a number of material considerations into account, including the role of the array as a mitigation measure. The challenge will also allege that the Council failed to take into account the cumulative effects of the array and that the Council unlawfully downplayed the fact that the array conflicted with two development plan policies.
The substantive hearing of the judicial review claim will likely take place before the end of the year.
Cornerstone Barristers is currently advising a number of parties in relation to fracking planning projects. Click here for further information.