Fracking can go ahead in Lancashire after High Court appeal fails

Fracking Three’ Judge’s family links to energy companies exposed after ‘absurdly harsh’ sentences

A demonstrator against Cuadrilla Resources. REUTERS Stefan Wermuth

British energy company Cuadrilla said on Friday it would begin fracking a shale gas well at its Lancashire site on October 13 after a court removed the final hurdle to the first hydraulic fracturing in Britain in seven years.

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".

But judge Michael Supperstone ruled that he did "not consider that any of the grounds of challenge raise a serious issue to be tried".

It has been announced that fracking can restart in Lancashire after an application for an injunction was turned down by the High Court today.

She added: "It is extremely important to my client that we know where we are by tomorrow lunchtime".

Cuadrilla's first attempts to frack in Lancashire were brought to an immediate halt in April 2011 after triggering a minor quake in the area and raising fears over the safety of the extraction method.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said he was "delighted".

Flow rate tests will be run after Cuadrilla fracks the two wells and results are expected in the new year.

The high pressure forces tiny naturally occuring fissures in the rock formation to open and release natural gas which is trapped.

"I am satisfied that the claimant falls at the first hurdle".

"You can have fracking or you can deal with climate change - you can't do both", he added.

Last week, Mrs Justice Farbey granted Mr Dennett an interim order, temporarily preventing Cuadrilla - which is an interested party in the case - from carrying out any hydraulic fracturing operations at the site.

Marc Willers QC, for Mr Dennett, had argued that the county council's risk assessment which "underpinned the hydraulic fracturing consent" was "fundamentally flawed".

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