GREENPEACE led anti-fracking protesters as they demonstrated outside Lancashire County Council’s monthly full meeting yesterday.
As politicians made their way into County Hall Preston they were faced with a ‘Not for Shale’ roadshow.
Greenpeace and other protest groups have persuaded 6,000 residents to sign a petition urging Prime Minister David Cameron to stop fracking.
A further 300 have written to their MPs urging them to oppose legislation allowing firms to drill under people’s homes without their permission.
Greenpeace released the figures as activists targeted the full Lancashire County Council meeting to demonstrate the level of opposition.
Drilling firm Cuadrilla has submitted planning applications to LCC for shale gas exploration at two sites in Lancashire – Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood on the Fylde. A decision is due in October.
Last year a British Geological Survey identified the M65 corridor north of Blackburn through Burnley to Colne and the Rossendale Valley as sitting on shale gas reserves.
Greenpeace energy campaigner Simon Clydesdale said: “The decision over whether to green light fracking in Lancashire will have huge repercussions.
“County councillors face a clear choice.
“Either they open the floodgates to a fracking frenzy that could see vast swathes of this county turned into gas fields, with a devastating impact on the environment and the quality of life of local communities.
“Or they stand up to powerful political and corporate interests and put their communities and the environment first. Thousands are urging them to protect this region from fracking — they should listen.”
County leader Jenny Mein said: “As planning authority we will make our decisions according to the planning guidelines, which allow members of the public significant opportunities to make their views heard.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “I am in favour of fracking, but I am confident the county council and the Government will ensure when decisions are made environmental concerns will be properly considered.”