Homeowners 'won't be directly notified of fracking under their homes'
Fracking could take place under peoples’ homes without their being directly informed, campaigners claimed on Wednesday, after ministers scrapped planning rules requiring every homeowner to be individually notified of drilling plans.
Fracking, the process used to extract shale gas, can involve drilling a well horizontally for more than two miles underground, potentially passing under hundreds of homes.
Existing planning laws required every individual homeowner to be directly notified of a planning application.
But planning minister Nick Boles said that that required notification of a “disproportionately large number of individuals and businesses” that would be “unnecessarily excessive”.
Instead, shale gas companies would be “required to publish a notice in a local newspaper and put up site displays in local parishes”.
"Shale gas has the potential to provide our country with greater energy security, growth and jobs," Mr Boles said.
Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “People should be notified personally if firms want to drill or frack for oil and gas under their homes removing that right is a further blow to local communities who are rightly concerned about the impacts of fracking.
“Earlier this week the Government accepted that fracking could have potentially significant local impacts. Ministers should be strengthening rules to protect local people, not weakening them in yet another sop to an industry that wants to keep us hooked on dirty fossil fuels.”
But industry body, the UK Onshore Operators Group, said that home-owners would still be directly informed that drilling was going to take place under their homes as part of the process to negotiate access with landowners.