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Cuadrilla continues community consultation on exploration programme

Cuadrilla has begun discussions with local communities about the next steps for its exploration of Lancashire’s Bowland shale.

The company recently announced the appointment of planning consultants Arup to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in support of planning applications for sites where it intends to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas. A scoping report detailing the proposed approach to developing an EIA for the existing Grange Hill site has been submitted to Lancashire County Council.

Alongside the EIA work, Arup will also be preparing an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for each site, which will be used to ensure that any potential risks are identified and acted on.

To support the development of a comprehensive ERA, residents are invited to join a drop-in session with Cuadrilla and Arup, which will give people the opportunity to highlight any issues for inclusion in the process. The drop-in session will be held at Elswick Village Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 24th July.

Cuadrilla will also be speaking separately with local residents about its plans for a new vertical exploration well, which would be used to provide important new information about the quantity and composition of the natural gas locked within the rock. The site would not be hydraulically fractured, and would be returned to its former condition when we have completed our work. Located to the south of Clifton Business Park off the A584, the proposed well would allow rock samples to be extracted from deep below the surface for analysis with specialist tools lowered into the well to examine the rock layers, before being retrieved to the surface.  A planning application for the well is expected to be submitted later in the summer.

The drop-in session on the proposed Clifton well will be held at Freckleton Sports & Social Club from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 23rd July.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said:

“We’re committed to working with the community and are keen to take on board the views of local people as we continue to assess the full potential of Lancashire’s Bowland shale.”

Cuadrilla will be holding further events involving the local community from September.

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