Injunctions covering three shale gas sites renewed

Shale gas company IGas Energy has achieved the renewal of legal measures covering protests at three of its sites.

The company announced that HHJ Simon Barker QC, in the High Court in London, has renewed its interim injunction relating to its operations at Springs Road, Tinker Lane and Ellesmere Port.

The interim injunction was originally granted on September 3, 2018.

The injunction, granted against three categories of ‘Persons Unknown’, prohibits conduct including trespass on IGas’ land, unlawful interference with access to IGas’ land, and obstruction of the highway, including by slow-walking, lock-ons and lorry surfing.

The order states that if any of the defendants disobeys the order, that defendant may be held to be in contempt of court which may lead to imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

IGas said the injunction does not prevent anyone effectively exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

Stephen Bowler, IGas chief executive, said: “We are pleased that the High Court has renewed this injunction which gives assurance to employees, contractors, suppliers and the general public that they can go about their lawful business without intimidation and unlawful activity from activists.

“We have continued to experience situations where activists are putting themselves and others at risk, which is unacceptable.

“We have a duty of care to take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in and around our sites.”

In September three men were jailed for between 15 and 16 months for their protests at a Cuadrilla fracking site at Little Plumpton, in Lancashire.

They were convicted of causing a public nuisance after clambering onto the roofs of three lorry cabs.

They were believed to be the first environmental protesters to receive a jail sentence in the UK since 1932.

However, in October they were freed after the court of appeal quashed their sentences, calling them “manifestly excessive”.

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