LCC DCC Deferral
Today LCC Development Control Committee voted to allow Cuadrilla’s request to defer their consideration of their applications to consider new information on noise and traffic impacts.
The decision made by the DCC was clearly a direct result of being told that they had no alternative legally, although several councillors let it be known that they were personally opposed to the request which they clearly felt was not in the spirit of the democratic process.
Councillor Marcus Johnstone proposing the deferral said that he “regretted enormously” that the many people who had attended the hearing today would now not have chance to speak, whilst local residents would be left in a state of uncertainty for another two months.
Councillor Stephen Holgate bemoaned interference from central government in process that were by right decisions that should be taken by the council and referred to the “Frackgate” letter (1) sent by George Osborne to members of the cabinet committee on economic affairs requesting that ministers make dozens of interventions to fast-track shale gas drilling
Up to 100 speakers had applied to address the hearing, and some had even brought along legal representation including QCs. The decision will now have to be deferred for a further 8 weeks.
We share the concerns expressed by Councillors about the damage being done to the democratic process and the difficulties that Cuadrilla’s actions will cause to local people who are trying to make their voices heard. It is hard to see how such behaviour will stand Cuadrilla in good stead when the DCC finally come to vote on the applications.