What the judge said about Lancashire campaigners’ fracking challenges
Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, 11 April 2017. Photo: Ros Wills
In a brief court hearing at 9.30 this morning, the High Court judge Sir Ian Dove dismissed two legal challenges to the ministerial approval of Cuadrilla’s plans for fracking at a site in Lancashire.
Sir Ian Dove ruled that the decision by the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, to grant planning permission for the site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, was lawful.
The challenges were brought by Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and an individual anti-fracking campaigner, Gayzer Frackman.
The PNRAG challenge argued that Mr Javid had unlawfully and unfairly misinterpreted local and national planning policies. These polices had been used by Lancashire County Council as reasons for the refusal of planning permission for Preston New Road in June 2015.
Mr Frackman argued that Mr Javid’s decision was unlawful because it failed to take into account some greenhouse gas emissions from the site and gaps in shale gas regulation.
At the end of an 82-page ruling, Sir Ian concluded that all the grounds in the case made by the Preston New Road Action Group were arguable. But he dismissed them all because he said they were not substantiated.
He said the climate change ground of Mr Frackman’s challenge was arguable though not substantiated, while the other ground was not arguable.
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