Fracking site at sunset

Roseacre fracking inquiry reopens 10 April - you're invited

The public inquiry into the Roseacre Wood fracking application re-opens in Blackpool on 10 April. Local campaigner Barbara Richardson wants you to come along.
  Published:  03 Apr 2018    |      3 minute read

Barbara Richardson, Roseacre resident and a primary school teaching assistant, photographed here at the end of her driveway which is the proposed Roseacre fracking site, 500m from her house.
Barbara Richardson is chair of Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG)
Credit: Friends of the Earth

Cuadrilla will be presenting revised traffic management plans as part of its application for fracking (hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas) in Roseacre Wood in rural Lancashire when the public inquiry re-opens this month.

To show our opposition, we’ll be holding an anti-fracking demonstration in Blackpool (outside Blackpool Football Club) on the first day of the inquiry, Tuesday 10 April, from 8.30am to 12 noon. Please come along to show you support.

You can find out all the details on our Facebook page.

The Roseacre fracking story so far

In 2015 Lancashire County Council refused Cuadrilla's application to frack at Roseacre Wood - on road safety grounds. The following year a planning inspector at a public inquiry recommended the same.

But then the government's Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, gave Cuadrilla another chance. So on 10 April 2018 the public inquiry is re-opening, and the firm will be presenting revised traffic management plans.

We don't agree with these plans.

(Friends of the Earth doesn't agree with fracking anywhere – if you feel the same, click the button below to sign the petition.)

Why we're against Cuadrilla's plans

Before Cuadrilla applied to frack on our doorsteps I’d never done anything like this. I wasn’t anti-fracking to start with, but the more I read about the potential impacts on our environment and community, I realised this was something I had to fight.

Our village is in a very rural location and a greenfield site. Eleven villages and around 5,000 people would be directly impacted. Many thousands more, including visitors to the area, would be affected.

We’ve been told to expect up to 50 of the very largest HGV movements every day. In many cases it will be physically impossible for two of these huge vehicles to pass one another. Our lanes are used every day by cyclists, runners and dog-walkers and pass a number of schools.

There aren’t any pavements and there is no street lighting. We feel that allowing these enormous vehicles to travel through our area is just an accident waiting to happen.

When we started to speak out, we realised that we could achieve things if we worked together in big numbers.Barbara Richardson, anti-fracking campaigner

A fracking site is proposed just 500m from my house and some of the houses in the village are only 200m away. We’re expecting that there will be constant noise and light pollution with activities taking place from 7am-7pm every weekday, and on Saturday mornings.

Although the company has argued that the industry will create new jobs, we are concerned that jobs could actually be lost. We have a lot of tourist visitors to the area who might not want to come if it’s scattered with fracking wells.

We're also concerned that our local dairy industry could be affected if there is any pollution from the site.

Bigger picture - fossil fuels and climate change

We're not just concerned about the local impact – we also care about climate change. Fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if we are to stop dangerous global warming.

At a time when the UK government says it wants to deal with climate change, supporting fracking seems like a backward step. Fracking is risky for the environment and for people.

We should instead be supporting the development of renewables.

Friends of the Earth has been there since the beginning for us. They gave us advice about the legal and planning processes, and invaluable campaigning ideas and support. They even helped us to travel to take part in the Paris climate change talks in 2015.

Although it’s been tough, we have come together as a community to stop this industry and now a majority are against fracking. It's enabled me to meet a lot of new people locally.

We can beat fracking - with your help

This is just the next step of a long fight. Roseacre and Preston New Road (both in Lancashire) are the first sites to go through this. Other campaigns against fracking will be watching the outcome of this public inquiry closely.

We are ready for the fight.

We are determined to protect our community and others from the harm fracking will bring.Barbara Richardson, anti-fracking campaigner

As I said, we’re holding an anti-fracking demonstration just outside the Blackpool FC football ground (Seasiders Way, FY1 6JJ), on Tuesday 10 April, from 8.30am to 12 noon. Please come along to show you support.

Friends of the Earth says:

On 10 April the people of Roseacre will be defending their right to refuse the fracking industry which wants to drill multiple wells and explore for shale gas in their village. How this community is treated will set a precedent for all those across the country who are fighting fracking applications. Please show your solidarity with their campaign.