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CPRE call fracking announcement ‘outright assault on local communities’

A fracking site in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire A fracking site in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire Graham Cray

CPRE have condemned today’s joint announcement from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government which proposes to streamline the process for fracking applications.

These plans pose huge environmental risks to our landscapes and threaten the tranquillity of the countryside. On top of this, the ministerial statement also sets out plans for fracking to be considered as ‘permitted development’ and as Nationally Significant Infrastructure, which would diminish the abilities of communities to influence local proposals.

Daniel Carey-Dawes, Senior Infrastructure Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said:

‘This announcement signals an outright assault on local communities’ ability to exercise their democratic rights in influencing fracking applications. It reads like a wish list from the fracking companies themselves. The government may want to provide “sweeteners” for communities affected, but nothing will change the fact that this will be a bitter pill to swallow.

‘Simplifying the shale gas application and exploration process will have disastrous effects for the health and tranquillity of our countryside, landscapes and environment. Our countryside is the breathing space for us all - it must not become an industrial testing ground for a fracking industry that has no environmental, economic or social licence.’

A consultation will be held on fracking being considered as permitted development and as Nationally Significant Infrastructure. CPRE look forward to responding with the aim of protecting the rights of local people and preventing fracking from destroying our beloved countryside.

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