By Nina Chestney
LONDON (Reuters) – British shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla has filed papers to a court seeking an injunction forbidding trespassing at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire, it said on Monday.
An injunction hearing will be held on May 31 at Manchester’s High Court District Registry. The injunction would replace and extend an existing injunction at the site and surrounding farmland.
The proposed injunction would prohibit unlawful obstruction of the site’s entrance, and disruption of the firm’s supply chain by, for example, blockading supplier properties, Cuadrilla said.
“Whilst we fully respect the right to peaceful and legal protest, unfortunately over the last 18 months we have seen an extraordinarily high level of unlawful protest activity,” Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive Francis Egan said in a statement.
“Such unlawful conduct cannot be permitted to continue, and we hope that if we can secure this injunction it will deter this unlawful behaviour which is reckless and continues to cost local taxpayers millions of pounds,” he said.
Cuadrilla has planning permission to drill up to four exploratory horizontal wells in the shale rock underlying its site at Preston New Road.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Jason Neely)