U-turn on banning drilling under protected areas

Balcombe Fracking - Caroline Lucas ENGSUS00120130819131432
Balcombe Fracking - Caroline Lucas ENGSUS00120130819131432

The government has made a U-turn on proposed legislation to ban fracking underneath protected areas and in drinking water zones.

The Infrastructure Bill was passed at its final stage in the House of Commons last Wednesday.

Friends of the Earth’s South East campaigner, Brenda Pollack said: “People will be staggered that the Government has removed from law its guarantees, made less than two weeks ago, to protect our most precious areas of countryside and our drinking water from risky fracking.

“This Government roll back means controversial fracking could still be allowed under the South Downs National Park and the High Weald, and in areas that provide much of our drinking water”

Previously in the Commons, the government accepted the Labour Party amendments that banned fracking “in or under” protected sites and close to where drinking water comes from.

Climate change minister Amber Rudd said it could unduly constrain the industry.