World Bulletin / News Desk
Energy company Cuadrilla will now be allowed to proceed with its plans to drill for shale gas at a rural site in Lancashire, despite opposition from residents and environmentalists.
The local authority had refused permission on the grounds of excessive noise and traffic in the area, but the U.K. government announced Thursday that it was overturning that decision.
A U.K. government spokesman said the decision was taken following "extensive consideration of all the evidence, including an independent planning inspector's report and evidence submitted during a two-week public inquiry."
A local environmentalist group said it was “disgusted at the decision,” while Greenpeace urged the government to consider renewable and smart energy technologies instead.
Greenpeace campaigner Hannah Martin said in a written statement: “This fudged decision shows the government is struggling to force fracking on a reluctant nation.
“Fracking will put our countryside and air quality at risk. Digging up more fossil fuels that we can’t burn if we are to honour the international agreement we signed in Paris and is coming into force soon makes little economic or environmental sense.”