Lancashire County Council (LCC) sent a statutory (Regulation 25) letter to Aurora on the 25th October 2019 requesting additional information in support of its planning application to construct fracking wells on a site at Great Altcar. The issues covered largely reflected concerns raised by a number of consultees about a range of aspects of the application i.e.

  •             Wellsite construction (including the intended height of the drilling rig)
  •             Green belt incursion
  •             Ecology
  •             Seismicity
  •             Highways
  •             Archaeology
  •             Climate change
  •             Noise
  •             Groundwater/surface water
  •             Air quality

Despite the impending general election, Aurora apparently provided a comprehensive response (in five parts) to LCC’s Regulation 25 letter on the 9th December 2019. Although such responses from planning applicants would normally be expediently displayed on its planning portal, this did not happen until the 15th January 2020. This was the same day that The Moss Alliance’s objection report was submitted to LCC with a request that it be published online.  It can be viewed at the bottom of page 6 and the recent responses from Aurora can be viewed at the bottom of page 4 of the ‘attachments’ to application reference LCC/2019/0037.

http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/planappsearch.aspx 

UPDATE:

Aurora’s responses have been sent to the Statutory Consultees and have been found wanting in various respects.  Aurora have been asked to respond further.  

It is understood that LCC has nominated the 24th February 2020 as the deadline for consultees to respond to the new information from Aurora, and has decided to hold a special meeting of its Development Control Committee tentatively fixed for the 27th March 2020 to determine the planning application.

UPDATE:

LCC has advised that the special meeting of the Devcon Committee will not take place in March; it may take place in April.

All the local groups (and their consultant advisers) opposed to the planning application are now busily digesting the new information with a view to submitting further objections to the application in due course. The local groups are also considering holding further public meetings before April to brief their supporters and seek their further support in opposing the planning application by responding to Aurora’s newly submitted responses.

UPDATE:

Our planning consultants’ response to Aurora’s responses will be sent to LCC as soon as it is issued in the coming week.  It will be published thereafter.

This would provide a further opportunity for the general public to sign The Moss Alliance petition against the development and discuss their responses. The petition already has about 6,000 signatures, and will be handed into LCC’s offices before the committee meets in March to make a decision. It can be accessed online on the ‘38 degrees’ website:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/against-fracking-at-great-altcar