29 June 2015
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas have welcomed Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse a planning application for fracking at a site in Little Plumpton.
“This is a fantastic victory for the people of Lancashire, and the campaigners who have fought so hard to increase awareness of the dangers of fracking.
“Today’s decision proves that, in spite of all the government’s efforts to force through fracking, local communities can prevent it from going ahead.
“Lancashire County Councillors have today set a strong example of how democracy should work – with elected politicians listening to the concerns of the people they represent. I hope the refusal of this application will open the government’s eyes to the huge opposition to fracking in this country, and help to persuade them that clean, renewable energy is where we must invest.
“The Green Party will keep campaigning until fracking is banned in the UK, and the government commits to taking real action to tackle climate change.”
Bennett, who attended a major anti-fracking protest outside the council meeting last week, said:
“Congratulations to the many campaigners who've worked long hours, in many cases putting their other lives on hold, to fight against the Cuadrilla application. Their hard work and dedication has paid off.
“Cuadrilla is already talking about an appeal but I'd urge them to reconsider. The 'umpire' has made its decision. Cuadrilla should accept that and acknowledge that they are not wanted in Lancashire, as the local people, and councillors, have made clear.
“David Cameron and George Osborne, with their much-trumpeted commitment to localism, should indicate to Cuadrilla that it shouldn't lay further costs on the people of Lancashire by launching an appeal. Further, with the Hinkley nuclear project clearly unlikely to go ahead, they should be working on an energy policy focused on renewables and energy conservation, so that Britain isn't left even further behind while the rest of the world powers ahead with the energy of the future.”
Green County Councillor for Lancaster Central Gina Dowding said:
"Today is a day for celebrating. The county councillors on the committee have listened to the concerns of Lancashire's residents and have done what is right. They have given voice to thousands of residents, campaign groups, health experts and all those concerned about climate change.
"But the party may not last long. As we all know, the shale gas industry is out to make a quick buck in Lancashire and I doubt they will give up that easily. However Lancastrians have shown they will not be dictated to by the Government or big business and will fight hard to protect our county and our future."