Campaigner loses High Court planning challenge against fracking in Lancashire

Wednesday 12 April 2017

On 12 April 2017 Mr Justice Dove dismissed a High Court challenge brought by Mr Gayzer Frackman against the decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to grant Cuadrilla planning permission for fracking at a site in Lancashire. Mr Frackman was represented by Marc Willers QC and his Junior, Estelle Dehon.

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Mr Frackman argued that the Secretary of State erred because he had failed to consider the likely cumulative impacts of the proposed development by only taking into account carbon emissions from "exploration" and ignoring the indirect emissions from the production stage.

He also argued the Secretary of State had acted irrationally by failing to apply the precautionary principle when deciding to grant Cuadrilla planning permission because the public health effects of fracking are currently unknown and so cannot be regulated.

After the judgment had been delivered Mr Frackman said:

"We are disappointed with the judgment of the court. Our concerns about the impact of fracking on climate change, the environment and those living in close proximity to fracking sites remain and we do not consider the regulatory system in the UK is sufficiently robust to ensure that extraction of shale gas is safe. Moreover, it is our view that the government is simply wrong to permit 'exploratory' fracking operations when, in fact, the operations will amount to 'production in disguise'. We are considering the judgment carefully and the question whether we should seek permission to appeal."


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