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Campaigners await decision on whether Cuadrilla to get fracking go-ahead

by Ceren Sagir at the High Court

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners gathered outside the High Court today as oil and gas company Cuadrilla waits to hear a decision on whether it can start fracking at a site in Lancashire.

The court issued an interim injunction order last week, ordering the company to delay operations at New Preston Road after campaigner Bob Dennett applied for a judicial review of the emergency planning procedures at the site.

Mr Dennett said: “There is no doubt that this is a high-risk industry, and whilst this legal action relates to the Preston New Road site, if fracking gets a foothold in Lancashire, the hundreds of sites needed to make this industry viable will exponentially increase the risk to the public.

“We are bringing our case to ensure the courts will able to apply proper scrutiny to plans which are needed to protect the public.

“We will not be allowing our children, elderly and vulnerable people to be told what to do on the day of a major incident on the site. They must be allowed to prepare.”

The campaigners are demanding a full public consultation and an “honest discussion” of the “potentially disastrous” effects that fracking can bring.

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley joined the protesters outside the court, where he said: “It beggars belief that, a few days after the dire warnings of the IPCC report on climate change, Cuadrilla want to be fracking at Preston New Road.”

Although the company announced last week that it would start fracking yesterday, it can only go ahead if the injunction is lifted.

Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for City of London and Westminster Zack Polanski told the Star: “Politics can’t only be what happens in courts and what happens just in the House of Commons. It’s about every single person taking responsibility.”

“Even just a few years ago, people weren’t really talking about environment. Now everyone’s talking about plastic.

“Fracking is the next movement of that conversation. As soon as the public starts to see the devastating effects it has on our environment and our planet, they will be very quick to stand with us and say No to fracking.”

Mr Polanski accused Cuadrilla of ignoring due process, saying that this showed that the whole thing was really about money.

“This is really about the corporations and nothing to do with the people of Lancashire and their health and environment,” he added.

The hearing will continue until a decision is reached.

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