LCC Objection Roseacre Wood

 

Environment Directorate,

Lancashire County Council,

Transport and Environment,

Development Management Group,

County Hall, PO Box 100,

Preston, PR1 0LD

Dear Sir or Madam,

PLANNING APPLICATION NO. LCC/2014/0101

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF A SITE FOR DRILLING UP TO FOUR EXPLORATION WELLS, HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OF THE WELLS, TESTING FOR HYDROCARBONS AND OTHER USES ANCILLARY TO THE EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES INCLUDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PIPELINE AND A CONNECTION TO THE GAS GRID NETWORK TO LAND WEST, NORTH AND EAST OF ROSEACRE WOOD, ROSEACRE ROAD AND INSKIP ROAD, WHARLES”

I am writing to object to the above planning application by Cuadrilla Elswick Ltd. There is growing evidence that shale gas extraction poses serious risks to human health and the environment, as a result, many countries and towns around the world have banned this practice. For this reason, the precautionary principle should be applied in order to protect Lancashire residents from the unavoidable impacts of shale gas development. I wish to object on the following grounds:

Well integrity – This is a chronic industry problem that they are unable to solve, all wells fail with age resulting in a toxic legacy for current and future generations. They remain unmonitored in the ground forever.

Ecology – Unavoidable negative impacts to the environment, Lancashire wildlife including protected species and their natural habitats and rural character. The site is close to Medlar Meadows and Medlar Ditch BHS Sites, Wyre Estuary SSSI, Morecambe Bay RAMSAR and Ribble Estuary SSSI RAMSAR site, an internationally important site for wildlife, including wintering wildfowl. Roseacre is the home to protected species such as bats, brown hare, barn owls and great crested newts.

Lack of regulation and enforcement – Cuadrilla have demonstrated numerous breaches of their planning permissions in Lancashire and Balcombe evidencing a dangerous gap in regulatory enforcement.

Air pollution & Greenhouse Gases – Unavoidable due to flaring, methane emissions, particulate matter, ozone & traffic.

Water pollution – Contaminationof nearby Thistleton Brook could result in pollution of local water sources used by local farmers for their livestock.

Unsuitable geology – Professor David Smythe stated that Lancashire is unsuitable for fracking due to it’s faulted geology. Subsequently, there is a risk to communities from induced seismic activity.

Seismicity – The traffic light system is a warning system and cannot prevent seismic activity once it has been induced.

Health impacts – Evidence from the USA suggests vast negative health impacts, inc. neurological, dermatological and respiratory illness. A Cornell university study evidenced low birth weights in infants in communities close to gas drilling, whilst the Bamberger Oswald study discovered stillbirths and birth defects in animals due to air emissions from flaring, traffic and chemical exposure. The cumulative health effects have not been adequately studied.

Noise – An unavoidable negative impact for local residents. There is very little noise pollution at present. Cuadrilla exceeded noise levels set in planning permission at Balcombe.

Light pollution – An unavoidable impact that would significantly affect local residents as little light pollution at present.

Visual impact – The development would impact the rural character of the local area. The site is situated between two hamlets which are part of a single community effectively dividing a community in half.

Traffic – The narrow country lanes are totally unsuitable for HGV’s especially on Dagger Road and Roseacre Road where HGV’s would not be able pass safely and would endanger other road users.

– Cyclists/horse riders/walkers – the route is used by hundreds of cyclists, riders and walkers. Use of this route by HGV’s would present a serious risk of injury to cyclists, riders and other road users and also loss of social amenity.

Waste disposalThere are inadequate measures in place to treat and dispose of the vast quantities of waste water nor is there sufficient capacity for such huge volumes of hazardous waste at treatment facilities.

Unsustainable water usage – Public drinking water must be preserved at all costs. Such vast amounts should not be utilized for gas drilling, especially given the water shortages in recent years.

Depreciation of property value – An unavoidable impact due to a substantial nearby industrial development.

Liability for damage – There is no assurance that Cuadrilla will accept liability for damage. Local authorities and communities will be left to bear the cost of any damage caused by the proposed development.

The proposal conflicts with Fylde local plan policies designed to protect the countryside, valuable habitats, agricultural land, water resources, groundwater and air quality, and the Lancashire minerals plan policy to protect water, air, soil and biodiversity from harm. LCC should acknowledge the short and long-term impacts that intensive shale gas development would have on Lancashire communities and the rural character of Lancashire. By granting this application LCC would be setting a precedent for intensive gas drilling in rural Lancashire for many years to come. This industrial development would have significant negative impacts on the environment, the quality of life of communities as well as the leisure, tourism and food production industries. On these grounds I strongly urge Lancashire County Council to reject the application.

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