Following submission of Cuadrilla’s planning application for up to four shale gas exploration wells at its proposed site at Roseacre Wood, Lancashire County Council has formally validated and accepted the application and will now begin its own consultation regarding the proposals.
The planning application and its accompanying Environmental Statement are now accessible to the public. The Environmental Statement details the findings of an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed sites, which was carried out by experts at Arup, an independent and highly respected UK engineering and environmental consultancy. It contains 21 chapters looking at a wide range of issues including air quality, lighting, noise, transport, water and visual impact. A non-technical summary of the Environmental Statement is also available.
Arup’s Project Director Des Correia said: “The Arup team has had an excellent level of engagement from the community around the Roseacre Wood site – from local residents to the parish council and other local stakeholders. Their contributions have helped us undertake both the Environmental Impact and Environmental Risk Assessments in tremendous detail, taking into account a huge range of issues including the vital importance of maintaining the natural rural character of the local landscape and assessing options for minimising the impact of additional transport.”
Cuadrilla’s chief executive Francis Egan said: “The planning application for Roseacre Wood – together with the Preston New Road application which was submitted a couple of weeks ago – are important milestones for Lancashire and the UK as the company seeks to unlock Lancashire’s considerable shale gas potential in a safe and sensible way. Cuadrilla has been working hard to incorporate, as far as reasonably practical, the feedback received and the applications include the changes the company made to the proposals as a result of the views expressed during the consultation with local residents, community groups and stakeholders. The end result is probably the two most comprehensive Environmental Statements ever completed for proposed shale gas exploration sites.”
Press Release, June 25, 2014