What the ruck?

So Cuadrilla have started work at Preston New Road and have written to local councillors to let them know. (It seems local residents have not yet been informed)

They include a reassuring statement about the size of the site.

I am writing to let you know that we have started work today on the construction of road access to the Preston New Road shale gas exploration site. Construction of the site itself will follow on. Planning consent for this work was granted in October 2016. The exploration site, which is roughly the size of a rugby pitch, will take approximatelythree months to build and prepare before drilling commences.”

This would be well and good if it were true but the size of the site is actually rather bigger if we are to believe what they submitted to get planning permission

Their Flood Risk Assessment – Core Document 5.8 for the Public Inquiry clearly states that

The Exploration Works cover an area of approximately 2.6 hectares (1.55ha well pad, 0.84ha bunds/landscaping and 0.21ha access track) and is currently ‘greenfield’ comprising fields used for grazing separated by hedges.The well pad site slopes to the north-west

However, a standard rugby pitch’s dimensions are as follows:

“A typical length is 100m for the field of play plus the depth of the ingoal areas at both ends of the field, say 10m each – total 120m. The width is typically 70m so the area = 120m x 70m = 8400 sq m. A full size pitch (22m ingoal) would be 144m x 70m = 10080 sq m. That is 1.008 hectares, not 2.6 hectares.”

So yesterday we had to listen to Francis Egan accusing Friends of the Earth of ” misleading the UK public on fracking” and today his own company is trying to pretend that the spatial impact of a fracking site development on the local neighbourhood is just 38% of what they told the planning inquiry it would be.

So Cuadrilla – you are this weeks winner of our pants on fire award.  We are going to make a wild guess that it may not be the last time you win it.


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