2011 Cuadrillacarried out a testFrack at Preese Hall about a mile away from the current site caused two earthquakes and work was halted in May 2011.
4/02/2014 Cuadrilla announced they wanted to frack at Preston New Road, in Little Plumpton, Lancashire and put in a planning application.
January 2015 Cuadrilla’s planning application was scheduled to be heard at Lancashire County Council (LCC). Preston New Road Action Group submitted a ‘group presentation’ and spoke against planning permission being granted. The hearing was adjourned until June 2015 at the request of Cuadrilla.
June 2015 LCC heard the planning application. Residents and supporters were allowed four minutes each to speak about their concerns. Speakers were told that they could only speak about planning concerns such as visual impact and noise as these were the only grounds that would be taken into consideration as far as the planning application remit was concerned. People did speak about their fears for those living close to the site who were vulnerable due to pre-existing health conditions, but they were told that they couldn’t be considered as part of the planning application and that the health of the people wasn’t relevant to Planning because it was the remit of the Public Health Officer. The Public Health Officer did outline a number of conditions that should be implemented before fracking was undertaken (baseline health studies etc.) but these have not been implemented. Concerns for the water and land were also not supposed to be of concern to the Planning Committee but were the remit of the Environmental Agency who didn’t oppose the application mainly as they saw the planning application as a ‘temporary’ intrusion. During the hearing a letter was leaked that had come from George Osbourne urging councils to fast track planning permission.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/interactive/2015/jan/26/george-osborne-fracking-letter
The Planning Committee were taken into a private room and given what turned out to be false legal advice. They were told that if they voted to turn down the application they wouldbe sued, and it would cost them a fortune. One smart councillor asked for this advice to be made public and put in writing as he said it was making a complete mockery out of the hearing (not to mention the time and effort people had made preparing for the hearing) if it was a foregone conclusion. The case was adjourned again for the weekend and when the legal advice arrived in writing it was a watered-down version of what the committee had been told verbally stating they couldbe sued. Committee members felt they were now free to vote as they saw fit and the result was Cuadrilla’s planning application was turned down.
July 2015Cuadrilla announced their intention to appeal the decision.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government also announced that he was minded to call in the application, in other words the final decision would be made by the government.
Feb and March 2015Public Inquiry took place. Preston New Road Action Group were accepted as Rule 6 party. (https://youtu.be/LMPWcL90u6I) The appointed officer (Wendy McKay) who heard all the evidence was to make a recommendation to the government. The ultimate decision was called in by the government.
6thOctober 2016 Wendy McKay recommended planning permission be granted. Savid Javid announced that LCC’s decision to refuse planning permission from the site was overturned and Cuadrilla had won their appeal.
March 2017 Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) took the decision to judicial review in Manchester. Their legal team were arguing five points of law to do with the process of the Appeal but were unsuccessful so took the decision to the High Court.
January 5th2017Cuadrilla literally rolled into town and the fracking pad at Preston New Road started to be constructed.
31 August 2017 PNRAG’s case was heard at the High Court in London and whilst waiting for the decision Cuadrilla ploughed their way into town and despite direct action and efforts to delay them they built their super pad.
January 2018 The High court upholds Sajid Javid’s decision to grant Cuadrilla permission to build their fracking super pad at Little Plumpton.
April 2018 Cuadrilla announce the completion of the first well to a depth of 2300 metres with a horizontal of 800 metres through the Lower Bowland Shale
July 2018 Cuadrilla announce the completion of the second well drilled to 2100 metres with a horizontal of 750metres through the Upper Bowland Shale
October 2018 Cuadrilla announce that they have begun fracking at Preston New Road. The Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Oil and Gas Authority are responsible for regulating the site during operations.
The Oil & Gas Authority requires a real-time Traffic Light System to be operational throughout the entire operations, and is intended to mitigate the risk of induced seismicity (caused by human activity) from hydraulic fracturing, by ensuring the operator proceeds with caution if an “Amber” (0 to 0.5 ML) event is detected, or by pausing pumping operations in the case of a “Red” (≥ 0.5 ML) event.
November 2nd, 2018Cuadrilla announce they have ‘flowed a small amount of gas for the first time.’
Over fifty seismic events are recorded from the monitoring system set up by the British Geological Survey with the largest being 1.5 recorded on 11thDecember 2018 https://earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/earthquakes/recent_uk_events.html
December 2018Cuadrilla begin to dismantle the fracking rig and equipment and announce they will return and proceed with the frack plan in 2019.