Preston New Road Action Group

Police Delayed Review of Tactics for Controlling Fracking Protest as Conflict Escalated, Leaked Emails Show

Read time: 17 mins
Drawing of police guarding a fracking site

Police have been criticised for repeatedly delaying a review of official guidance for policing fracking protests after a cache of leaked correspondence highlighted ongoing problems with the consultation process. More than two years after the review was first promised, DeSmog and the Guardian can exclusively reveal it has now been delayed for a fifth time.

Dozens of leaked emails between the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Lead on Shale Gas and Oil Exploration — Lancashire Assistant Chief Constable Terry Woods — and Green MEP Keith Taylor show how the process has been repeatedly delayed, with the review’s remit changing without any prior warning.

'I Have to See it Through to The End': One Lancashire Family's Two-Year Fight Against Fracking

Read time: 10 mins

As the protest at Preston New Road, Lancashire, marks its second anniversary, one mother and daughter look back on their unexpected transformation from a regular family into activists at the frontline of the UK’s anti-fracking movement.

I was flicking through the Blackpool Gazette when I saw a little community advert saying ‘Fracking in Blackpool’. I thought it said fucking,” Julie tells me.

You know when something catches your eye, like when something says ‘free’ or ‘sex’, and you can't help but look back? I phoned my sister, asking if she’d heard about it. I said whatever it is, it's dead in the water because it sounds too much like fucking. If it had been called ‘fluffy kittens’ we would have had a much tougher battle.”

'Today is Pivotal': Lancashire Campaigners Made to Wait One More Day for Fracking Fate

Read time: 4 mins
Preston New Road anti-fracking camp

It’s 4.21pm. I’m just saying. I’d like to say it’s all okay, but it’s really not. It sucks.”

It’s difficult to hear Tina Rothery’s gloomy pronouncement, as heavy rain has just started to hammer the canvas of the hoop house where we are sat. She has been stationed here for hours, along with a small group of fellow activists, refreshing her phone, waiting to see whether the High Court has lifted an injunction against Cuadrilla, allowing the company to finally start fracking in a field in Little Plumpton, Lancashire.

The Day Fracking Protest Became a Jailable Offence — In Pictures

Read time: 2 mins
protestors lie in front of lorries

On Tuesday 25 July 2017, four protestors stopped a convoy of lorries going to a fracking site in Lancashire. Today, three of the activists were sentenced to custodial sentences.

Residents of Little Plumpton have been fighting Cuadrilla Resources' plans for years. What started as a handful of local residents bemused that a new fossil fuel industry was about to start in their village escalated into a resistance of national symbolic importance

Today's ruling represents a trend of escalation between environmental protestors and the police — from mass arrests of Dakota Access pipeline protestors in the US, to UK police abusing their powers when going undercover in environmental movements, and mass online surveillance of fracking activists via Facebook.

UK Councils Invest Billions in Fracking, Including Companies Tied to Donald Trump

Read time: 6 mins
Fracking sign at Preston New Road

Council pension funds across the UK have invested billions in companies involved with fracking, new data claims. Authorities in areas where the controversial practice is set to take place also have millions invested such companies.

Some of the funds also have investments in companies with close ties to members of President Trump’s administration, which is currently embarking on a major climate and environmental regulation roll-back.

Cuadrilla's Fracking Vehicles Took Wrong Turn 115 Times in Three Months, Documents Reveal

Read time: 4 mins
Lorry exiting Cuadrilla's Preston New Road fracking site

When Communities Secretary Sajid Javid overruled local objections to push ahead with the government’s shale gas plans, residents were assured planning conditions placed on fracking company Cuadrilla would be sufficient to minimise disruption to the local community.

But vehicles making deliveries to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire have had to deviate from the agreed route over 100 times during the summer months, data obtained by DeSmog UK through freedom of information requests show.

Fracking’s Health Impacts Review ‘Long Overdue” – Activists Petition Public Health England

Read time: 4 mins
Google Fracking and Health activist sign

Anti-fracking activists today delivered a petition to government agency Public Health England calling for a review of the health impacts of shale gas extraction.

The handover coincides with a court case in which protesters are appealing the government’s decision to allow fracking to go-ahead in Lancashire despite the council rejecting Cuadrilla’s planning application last year.

Anti-Fracking Campaigners Make Final Legal Challenge to Cuadrilla’s Shale Gas Plan

Read time: 5 mins
Royal Courts of Justice

Anti-fracking activists have been making their case in court to overturn a decision that allowed shale gas company Cuadrilla to start work on a shale gas site in LancashireRuth Hayhurst reports for Drill or Drop.

Opponents of Cuadrilla’s fracking plans near Blackpool brought their final legal challenge to the Court of Appeal in London this morning.

A community group and an individual campaigner were appealing against the ruling of a high court judge earlier this year.

Mr Justice Dove, sitting in Manchester, had dismissed challenges to the granting of planning permission for Cuadrilla’s plans for drill, frack and test up to four shale gas wells at a site on Preston New Road.

But the challengers, Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and resident Gayzer Frackman, argued that the judge had misapplied planning policy and EU law in rejecting their cases.

August Date Set for Court of Appeal Hearing on Cuadrilla’s Fracking Site

Read time: 3 mins
Preston new road action group

By Ruth Hayhurst, DrillorDrop.

The next stage in a legal battle over ministerial approval of fracking in Lancashire reaches the Court of Appeal in London in August.

The court has confirmed that separate challenges brought by campaigners, the Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman, will be heard over two days at the Royal Courts of Justice, starting on 30 August.

Both cases argue that the decision to grant planning permission for the Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site was unlawful. The approval, by the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, in October 2016 overturned the refusal by Lancashire County Council but followed the recommendation of an inspector at a public inquiry.

Court Date Set for Anti-Fracking Challenges Against Government Ruling on Cuadrilla Site

Read time: 4 mins
Work begins on Cuadrilla Lancashire fracking site

By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop.

Legal challenges to a ministerial ruling giving the go ahead to Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire will be heard next month (March).

An order issued today by the High Court has listed the case for three days, starting on 15 March 2017. The court had previously agreed to hear the case in Manchester.

The two challenges have been brought against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman.

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