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Cuadrilla apply for deferral of crucial LCC DCC meeting

Defend Lytham are not surprised to hear that Cuadrilla have requested a deferral in the determination of their planning applications. No doubt they are uncomfortable about LCC councillors deciding the fate of their exploration wells in a week where the former Conservative Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman has called for a moratorium on shale gas exploration, citing concerns over climate impact, and when the fracking related proposals in the Government’s hugely unpopular Infrastructure Bill will be coming under intense scrutiny.

It is hard to understand how, having failed to satisfy the planning officers in the first instance they now expect to be allowed back for a second bite of the cherry, and we note that whilst they claim to be able to reduce the noise from their activities to a level no greater than 37dB, they appear to have had problems in Balcombe (1) keeping to the 42 Db limit imposed by the council there, and had to stop work whilst this was investigated.

We also have some serious concerns over the other impact issues with which the Planning Officers declared themselves satisfied, and we would like to raise a question as to whether some of the assumptions made in the Report are in fact acceptable under the National Planning Policy Framework.

Any deferral of this meeting will be hugely inconvenient to a large number of people, including the Councillors on the Development Control Committee and those who have arranged to speak to the various issues at the meeting. Unless Cuadrilla can come up with an altogether more convincing explanation we can see no reason why the meeting should not go ahead as originally planned

Mike Hill to speak at IET seminar

Defend Lytham are pleased to announce that Mike Hill, Chartered Engineer from St. Annes and BREF EU Commission Member MTWR (incl. shale gas) will be one of the speakers at a Seminar held by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on Tuesday May 20th 2014.

The main speakers are:-

Professor Paul Younger, for the RS/RAEng Working Group on Fracking
John Blaymires, CEO IGas
Andrew Dobbie, OUGO
Michael Hill, Chartered Engineer
Prof Sharon Clarke , Manchester Business School

The RS/RAE produced a report in June 2012 “ A Review of Hydraulic Fracturing “ which made 10 recommendations, but as only one of these has actually been implemented by the government, the debate should prove lively and informative.

With the recent announcement of 8 shale gas wells to be hydraulically fractured in the Fylde, this topic will be of interest to all watching the development of this new industry.

The meeting will be held at: – Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington between 12:25 and 17:30

Lytham or Dubai?

At our meeting last night we were asked why we used Royal Lytham’s water use, and not that of a golf course in Dubai, as an example when criticising the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s statement that

“A single shale gas well uses in total about the same amount of water as a golf course uses in three weeks.”

We had pointed out that Royal Lytham uses 5000 m3 a year which meant that a typical frack job might use the same amount of water as that golf course uses in 3 and a half years not 3 weeks.

It’s a reasonable question.

The questioner did not have the figures for a golf course in Dubai to hand last night, so we promised to find out and do the relevant comparison. We have looked it up as best we can. Google didn’t help with usage in Dubai very much but we were able to find out that:

“Yas Links was the only golf course in Abu Dhabi to disclose its water use – a daily average of 5,000 cubic metres in winter and 7,000 cubic metres in summer.”


So to be fair, if water usage in next door Dubai were similar, and if we were to use Dubai as an example it would tell us that a typical fracking job would use the same amount of water as a golf course in the middle of the desert does in about 3 and a half days in Winter or 2 days in Summer. We are not sure that this comparison does much to exonerate the fracking companies though.

We have to say that it’s hard to imagine that Dubai is your average golf course as far as irrigation is concerned, and we do think that it’s important that if claims like “A single shale gas well uses in total about the same amount of water as a golf course uses in three weeks.” are going to be bandied about to justify shale gas’s massive water usage, then the exact nature of the comparison (i.e which golf courses are being used) should be made clear. We certainly don’t think it is in any way unfair to show how that statement fails when applied to the premier golf course within Cuadrilla’s licence area.

Maybe what this shows us is why we all have to critical of the sound bites that politicians, lobbying groups and PR companies use.

It is interesting that further research shows that the original quote seems to have been

“This is no more than a golf course in Florida consumes in three weeks”


but the Florida bit gets conveniently forgotten by UK commentators like GWPF and industry spokesman Nick Grealy when they say:

A single shale gas well uses in total about the same amount of water as a golf course uses in three weeks.


The 18,000 cubic metres of water needed for drilling a well with a life span of up to ten years is equal to the volume used to irrigate …an 18 hole golf course in one month.


Given that most UK readers of UK commentators would naturally think first of typical UK golf course usage, we think it was perfectly fair to show what that comparison would really mean with reference to a local golf course.

Mike Hill addresses EU

Defend Lytham’s Mike Hill recently attended the EU conference on shale gas regulation.

You can see his contributions here:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFI6qsQMsi0&feature=youtu.be

Part2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOqSu90jMU4&feature=youtu.be

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=486TCvzz_Pg

Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Uxf9ym4D2U&feature=youtu.be

Entire Conf: http://webcast.ec.europa.eu/eutvadmin/preview/preview_conference?viewConference=19798&portal.id=1

Public Meeting on Fracking – Tuesday June 25th – 7pm

There will be a public meeting at  Lytham Assembly Rooms on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 7:00 pm organised by Defend Lytham

We have called it “Fracking – Asking the Questions”

At this meeting there will be a series of short presentations on the background to fracking, the issues that may concern us all, and the current state of regulation around the activity.

After these you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about fracking.

We think it should be a lively and interesting evening.

We hope you will be able to attend. Please be share this information with anyone else you think might be interested.

Frack Free Lancashire

Fracking In the UK

Fracking The UK

If you want to learn about fracking this book comes highly recommended!

"Untrustworthy, unbalanced and potentially brain washing." - Amazon Review - Yes the industry hates this book that much :-)