An energy firm has won a court order to stop campaigners trespassing on land near two sites where it plans to drill for shale gas.
Manchester High Court granted Cuadrilla and local farmers an extension to an interim trespass injunction.
The ruling bans protesters from farmland or exploration sites in Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood in Lancashire for up to two years.
The judge also awarded costs against a leading anti-fracking campaigner.
The costs, which are yet to be determined, were awarded against Tina Rothery, one of the trespassers, because she requested an adjournment to challenge the injunction extension.
She said: “Cuadrilla and farmers estimated the costs in excess of £55,000 in court which the judge questioned and asked for a review.
“I understand if the farmer felt an injustice had been made but having to pay costs to Cuadrilla, a firm which I believe is immoral, puts me in a very difficult position.”
Cuadrilla said as no evidence was submitted, the judge ordered she should pay the costs resulting from the adjournment.
The firm has applied for permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas at both sites.
Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said he was pleased the court had found in favour of local farmers and welcomed the decision to award costs.
“It is important to remember that it is the local farmer who has suffered through the detrimental impact that the illegal trespass has had on his family’s business.”
Fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – is a technique in which water and chemicals are pumped into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.
Cuadrilla has applied to Lancashire County Council (LCC) to hydraulically fracture exploration wells on its Roseacre Wood and Little Plumpton sites.
LCC said it will make a decision within 16 weeks.
The order stands until a month after LCC’s final decision on Cuadrilla’s planning application.
Firm applies to frack at second site 17 JUNE 2014, LANCASHIRE
Two new fracking sites announced 04 FEBRUARY 2014, BUSINESS
Q&A: What is fracking? 27 JUNE 2013, UK
Fracking firm targets new sites 19 MAY 2014, LANCASHIRE
‘Fracking’ sites in the north west 24 FEBRUARY 2014, ENGLAND
Related Internet links
Lancashire County Council