Fracking firm Cuadrilla yesterday announced the award of an interim High Court injunction preventing trespass on its Preston New Road (PNR) shale gas exploration site and surrounding farmland.
Campaigners have been fighting to overturn a Government decision to approve the fracking site in Lancashire since Cuadrilla’s planning application was granted in 2015.
The new interim injunction replaces an existing injunction awarded to Cuadrilla and local farmers in 2014, which would have expired in August.
Cuadrilla said this new interim injunction is to give four defendants in the case time to prepare before it seeks a full extension lasting until 2020.
The new order prohibits unlawful obstruction of the site entrance and adjacent main A583”road, include “lock-ons” where protesters chaining themselves to an object or another person to deliberately prevent access and “climbing onto, or slow walking in front of, vehicles accessing or leaving the site”.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “We are pleased that the High Court has seen fit to grant this interim injunction which provides further reassurance to our employees, contractors, and suppliers and the general public using the Preston New Road that they can go about their lawful business without intimidation and illegal unlawful blockades from activists. This injunction does not restrict lawful and peaceful protest but is an important deterrence against unlawful protest which we have witnessed to an the extraordinarily degree high level of unlawful protest activity we have seen at Preston New Road and not about restricting lawful and peaceful protest. Those activists that continue to contemplate persist in unlawful activity against us or our suppliers should strongly consider the serious penalties that a breach of this injunctions could bring.”
The Court will reconvene on 10th July 2018 in order to consider the matter further and to hear arguments from the four named defendants who raised objections at the hearing this week.