Revelations that shale gas extraction could lower property values, increase insurance costs, and damage the environment – according to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) report – have served to reinforce the Lancashire County Council’s decision to reject Cuadrilla’s planning application at Preston New Road.
The fracking report was released this week following a lengthy battle and appeal by Greenpeace to the Information Commissioner which ruled at the end of June that Defra must release the report in full. On Wednesday evening ministers complied with the order and quietly sneaked the report out, two days after the Lancashire vote refusing fracking in the area.
“This report gives the lie to the shale lobby and ministers’ claim that there’s no evidence of negative impacts for fracking whilst questioning many of the arguments made in favour of it,” said Daisy Sands, Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner. “It’s a complete vindication of Lancashire County Council’s decision to reject Cuadrilla’s bid to frack in the region, and provides other councils with compelling reasons to do the same.”