Gas exploration company Cuadrilla said it welcomed the decision to grant planning consent for its applications to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.
It added: “Regarding a similar application for a proposed site at Roseacre Wood, where the Secretary of State is minded to grant following further consultation on highways conditions, Cuadrilla looks forward to demonstrating that it will meet these requirements.
As a Lancashire business we are proud that the county will play such a vital role in securing vitally needed home sourced energy
Francis Egan, chief executive officer of Cuadrilla said immediately after the announcement: “We are very pleased that we can now move ahead with our shale gas exploration plans which will start to create new economic growth opportunities and jobs for people in Lancashire and the UK.
“As a Lancashire business we are proud that the county will play such a vital role in securing vitally needed home sourced energy.
“We are confident that our operations will be safe and responsible and the comprehensive site monitoring programme planned by regulators and independent academics will in due course conclusively demonstrate this. We hope this will reassure the minority of people whom remain sceptical about shale gas exploration. This news has given Lancashire a big vote of confidence in its economic and energy future.”