Community group ‘Preston New Road Action Group’ (PNRAG) has taken further action to challenge the government’s decision to allow fracking of shale gas at a site near Little Plumpton, Lancashire (the Plumpton Site).

As reported in our blog of 21 October 2016, PNRAG sent a letter before action last month to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, requesting that the government reconsider its decision to allow a planning permission for fracking at the Plumpton Site.

Javid has refused to reconsider the government’s position and PNRAG has now issued formal legal proceedings at the High Court. PNRAG has applied for a statutory review of the decision under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

A spokesperson for PNRAG said the group intends to prove the government’s decision as unlawful and will invoke further legal routes to this end.

The hearing is expected to take place in the High Court early next year.

A challenge has also been brought by Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth against North Yorkshire County Council’s decision on 23 May 2016 to grant Third Energy permission to frack in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. An application for a judicial review of the decision has been made to the High Court. The case will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on 22-23 November 2016.