“A case of David and Goliath”

Anti-fracking campaigners say they have “not even started fighting yet” in their campaign against Cuadrilla.

Blackpool Gazette (04/04/2014)

Barry Warner, from Roseacre Awareness Group, at Cuadrilla's event at Elswick Village Hall
Barry Warner, from Roseacre Awareness Group, at Cuadrilla’s event at Elswick Village Hall

The newly-formed Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG) has made the claim after energy company Cuadrilla held a public information event to discuss its plans for the village with residents.

The energy firm is looking to explore sites in Roseacre and Little Plumpton.

Barry Warner, from RAG, said: “What we’ve got at the moment is a classic case of David and Goliath.

“We’ve got a very rich organisation which I think is trying to steamroller their planning application through and I think what they’re hoping is people sleepwalk into it, but we have not yet begun to fight.”

Fracking is the process of injecting liquid into the ground at high pressure to release the gas inside rock, and Cuadrilla hopes to find out whether it would be feasible to carry out the process at the two sites.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, says he has agreed to meet the group to address their concerns. Speaking at the event, held yesterday afternoon at Elswick Village Hall, Mr Egan said more needed to be done to address resident’s concerns over regulation of the shale gas industry.

He said: “We need to see the regulators showing up, having events like this are very important. What is being done is reminding people what the regulations are.”

Des Correia, from Arup, which carries out environmental assessments on Cuadrilla’s behalf, added: “Regulators have got to engage more frankly. “Having sufficient presence and resources (to regulate fracking) is something people are worried about and regulators have to respond.”

Alan Worthington, 75, from Kirkham Road, Treales, said: “We’re totally against because of the disruption when they’re drilling it. My main concern is the traffic, possible flooding and flare offs.”

But Joan and Nigel Scott, from Thistleton, said they were more open to the idea. Mrs Scott, 82, said: “We’ve read all the literature and they’ve tried to forestall all the questions that one might bring up.

“It all sounds very plausible but we’ve heard criticism from the United States and other places.”