Fracking to start in Lancashire as legal challenge fails

Drilling rig at the Preston New Road siteImage copyright
PA

Image caption

Cuadrilla has drilled two wells at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire

Fracking for shale gas can go ahead for the first time in the UK since it was linked with earthquakes in 2011.

Energy firm Cuadrilla has drilled two wells at its site in Lancashire after being given the go-ahead to extract shale gas by the government.

Anti-fracking campaigner Bob Dennett argued in the High Court that Lancashire County Council had failed to properly assess any safety risks.

But Mr Justice Supperstone said there was “no evidence” to support the claim.

Dismissing the application, the judge said: “The claimant first has to establish that there is a serious issue to be tried.

“I am satisfied that the claimant falls at the first hurdle.”

He also refused permission for a judicial review of Lancashire County Council’s emergency planning procedures regarding the site, saying he was “entirely satisfied that the claim as formulated is unarguable”.

The judge heard several hours of submissions from Mr Dennett, the local authority and Cuadrilla on Thursday.

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