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Draft legislation to safeguard protected areas from fracking falls short

17 July 2015

The Government previously committed to limiting fracking in protected areas. In advance of new legislation defining these limits, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and other conservation organisations wrote to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to exclude fracking from the most sensitive parts of our countryside. Following the Government laying draft secondary legislation in Parliament to define protected areas, Nick Clack, senior energy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments:

“Although the Government has included National Parks, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and World Heritage Sites in the definition of protected areas, it has gone back on its previous promise to also include Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It has also ignored our request to ban fracking underneath these areas to prevent unnecessary negative impacts from drilling rigs next to these sites, which would harm their tranquillity and people’s enjoyment of them.

“Despite the Government reiterating its intention to rule out fracking from wells that are drilled within National Parks and other protected areas, the Government has not included anything in the legislation to bring this into effect. It is not clear how or when this might happen and we are now looking for the Government to back up its words with the necessary safeguards.”

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