Consultation on a variation to Cuadrilla’s planning permission

Planning Application LCC/2014/0096NM1

http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?recno=7131

It is very important that as many people as possible respond to this application for a variation to Cuadrilla’s Traffic Management Plan

Below you will find a description of what the variation means and the grounds on which you can object. If you want to go straight to the bullet points that we have summarised for you, scroll down to the end.

Please respond as by 14th November, using your own words if possible, as the Council will pay more attention to individual responses than template replies.

What has happened?

Cuadrilla has applied to change the terms of its original planning permission for its fracking operations at Preston New Road. This application was presented to Lancashire County Council (LCC) on 13 October. However, very few Lancashire residents seem to be aware of this application.

LCC has informed neighbouring parish councils, Fylde Borough Council, and local County Councillors. These have until 14 November to make any comments and/or objections. LCC’s Planning Committee will discuss Cuadrilla’s application on 13 December.

Judging by the lack of reporting on this, Cuadrilla are no doubt hoping that their application will go through ‘on the nod’, with no objections. However, Lancashire residents can make their own written objections. Please do so by responding before 14th November.

To help you make your objections, a brief summary of Cuadrilla’s application is given below:

What is the Variation about?

  • Essentially, Cuadrilla are asking for what they term ‘a non-material amendment’ to their current planning permission. At the moment, they are not allowed to move HGVs/tankers between the hours of 6.30pm and 7.30am.
  • What Cuadrilla want now is permission to have up to 9 ‘single convoy’ deliveries or removals for any of 4 separate fracking-related operations – The size of the convoys is not specified .
  • A spokesperson for Cuadrilla was quoted as saying that this would mean nine two-way trips. There would be no limit on the number of vehicles in a single convoy. But the spokesperson said it was not expected to be more than 30. This could mean 270, previously unpermitted, two way truck trips in the night-time hours.
  • Cuadrilla claim that such a volume of heavy vehicles would not result in any ‘significant adverse effects’! Bizarrely, their application states that the changes they want would ‘actively reduce the possibility’ of harm to the environment and local amenity!
  • As well as changing the rules about he timing of HGV deliveries/removals, they also want to increase the number of fracking operations they can do 24/7, outside of the currently restricted working hours. Yet they don’t even bother to say what these operations might be: the planning application merely refers to activities which are ‘not otherwise specified’.

You will recall that Cuadrilla breached their planning permission by bringing in their rig at 4:30 am. Having received a slap on the wrist from LCC for this, instead of modifying their behaviour they are now proposing to change the rules so that such a breach would no longer be classed as a breach.This s just one of several breaches which have been identified since work started in January.

If Lancashire County Councillors agree to this, then they might as well give up all pretence at making Cuadrilla stick to the rules. Instead, they would simply be allowing Cuadrilla to draw up their own rules.

Lancashire County Councillors should refuse point-blank to allow Cuadrilla to alter their planning permissions. Instead, Councillors should protect the people who elected them by insisting that Cuadrilla stick 100% to the planning regulations that already exist.

If Cuadrilla can’t operate within their permissions now, it calls into question their competence and their ability to do so once fracking starts, and that should be  a grave concern for LCC and everybody who could be affected.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

There are 3 main ways you can act to prevent this:

Use the information above to put your objections in writing – and then send them to the following address:

Developments Management Group
Lancashire County Council
PO Box 100 County Hall
Fishergate
Preston
Lancashire
PR10LD

Remember: The DEADLINE for such objections is: 14th November

Contact ALL your local councils directly, and ask them if they intend to make objections by their deadline of 14 November.

Find your councillor contact details here: https://www.writetothem.com/
Or the full list of Lancashire County Councillors here:
http://council.lancashire.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?VW=TABLE&PIC=1&FN=

Write/email letters to your local papers, so that as many people as possible are made aware of what Cuadrilla are trying to slip under the radar.

The Letters Page email addresses are as follows:
Lancashire Evening Post – lepforum@lep.co.uk
Blackpool Gazette – letters@blackpoolgazette.co.uk

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ACT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

Here is the list of points which you might like to include in your objections. Please write your own letter using these points as more weight will be given to individual letters than templates.

Points of objection to the Non Material Amendment 1 to LCC/2014/0096

The amendment should not be classed as a non material amendment it is seeking to change a condition that was established as a result of the public inquiry. It will impact on nearby residents.

Challenges on supporting statement

  • Protest Activity has decreased since July therefore is there any need for this amendment?
  • Number of arrests quoted but these do not necessarily convert to convictions.
  • FoI shows that North West Ambulance do not hold data for delays and re-routes
  • How many vehicles constitute a convoy? Any number of trucks in the night is not insignificant for local residents trying to sleep.
  • Will these convoys be escorted by the police if so this will further impact the amount of traffic on the road and also incur additional costs for policing?
  • The document states that the estimated duration of each convoy is 45mins therefore there could be two disturbances (in and out) 45 mins apart.
  • EP27, NPPF para 17, NPPF para 123, NPPF para 144, CS5, CS9 and DM2 could all be contravened due to the potential additional night time noise impacts because of the additional traffic.

Challenges to changes to Condition 19

  • The new Activity “Any other activity hereby permitted which is not otherwise specified in this table” Should not be allowed, it is far too vague and would in effect grant permission to do anything 24 hours a day.
  • The removal of the wording “site construction and restoration, including” will allow the activities in the following four bullets to be undertaken in any phase of the operation rather than just site construction and restoration.
  • The permitted hours of work should not be allowed to be changed as any convoys during the night potentially will have an impact on the night time noise levels for local residents.

Challenges to changes to TMP

  • The new paragraph should not be allowed in the TMP as condition 19 should not be allowed to be changed as per above.
  • If Cuadrilla know that one of these out of hours activities is going to take place why would they not inform LCC before it happens rather than after the event?

You can email responses to devcon@lancashire.gov.uk
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