Cuadrilla has begun building an access road at its Preston New Road site in the Fylde area of Lancashire, where it plans to drill for shale gas.

Lancashire County Council rejected a planning application for the four planned wells on the site, but its decision was overturned last year by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

Francis Egan, Chief Executive at Cuadrilla, said: “It’s a resumption of operations. It’s been a long break. So, for us it’s good to be able to commence work on the ground.

“We know there’s a lot of gas in the ground and we hope to demonstrate that it can be made to flow out in commercially viable quantities.”

Commitments to local community

Claire Stephenson, of local residents’ group Preston New Road Action Group, claimed neighbours had not been informed about the start of road laying.

“If this is Cuadrilla’s delivery of their ‘community engagement’ standards, they have failed in the first instance,” she told The Guardian newspaper.

In December, Cuadrilla made six economic and social commitments to the local community.

> Read Cuadrilla's commitments