Anger over decision to allow fracking “under homes”

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Green campaigners have attacked the Government for pushing ahead with moves to allow fracking under people’s homes without their permission, in the face of “overwhelming” opposition.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it will press ahead with proposals to simplify underground access for oil and gas developers despite the objection of 99% of respondents to a consultation.

Under the plans, companies would have the right to drill at depths of 300 metres or more under private land without having to negotiate access rights with the landowner.

A consultation on the proposals received more than 40,000 responses, 99 per cent of which opposed the proposals.

More than half of the 82 “stakeholder” responses, which includes those involved in the industry, backed the plans.

In its response to the consultation, DECC said: “Having carefully considered the consultation responses, we believe that the proposed policy remains the right approach to underground access and that no issues have been identified that would mean that our overall policy approach is not the best available solution.”

Business and Energy Minister Matt Hancock said: “Exploring the natural energy resources beneath our feet, within a robust regulatory framework, is important for our national energy security and helps create jobs.

“These new rules will help Britain to explore the great potential of our national shale gas and geothermal resources as we work towards a greener future - and open up thousands of new jobs in doing so.”