Greenpeace take fracking protest to Westminster

Greenpeace 'bring the local impacts of fracking to the heart of democracy'. Copyright: Kristian Buus / Greenpeace
Greenpeace 'bring the local impacts of fracking to the heart of democracy'. Copyright: Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

Greenpeace environmental campaigners have installed a ten metre replica fracking rig and drill in Parliament Square today.

A statement from the group said they wanted to ‘bring the local impacts of fracking to the heart of democracy’.

Greenpeace 'bring the local impacts of fracking to the heart of democracy'. Copyright: Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

Greenpeace 'bring the local impacts of fracking to the heart of democracy'. Copyright: Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

It says that a Populus poll, released today, says that nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of UK residents think their local council, not central Government, should decide whether to accept or reject fracking applications in their local area.

“The rig emits a realistic flame which is firing up every hour using bio ethanol, while flood lighting and the sound effects of drilling and lorries are reverberating around the House of Commons,” it says.

“The protest and polling results coincide with the first day of the independent Planning Inspectorate inquiry into whether fracking will go ahead in Lancashire. Energy company Cuadrilla, which is owned by companies based in Australia and the Cayman Islands, is appealing against Lancashire county council’s decision to reject its fracking application.

“However, Greg Clark, the Communities Minister, has already announced he will have the final say on whether Cuadrilla will be allowed to frack in Lancashire. In a bid to fast track fracking, the government announced last year that he could ignore both the decision by the local council and the Planning Inspectorate.

“In a letter sent to Lancashire County Council in November last year, Greg Clark explained: ‘The reason for this direction is because the drilling appeals involve proposals for exploring and developing shale gas which amount to proposals for development of major importance having more than local significance and proposals which raise important or novel issues of development control, and/or legal difficulties.’”

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