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New fracking sites

Greenpeace analysis shows which constituencies and protected areas can now be fracked
Dorset Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

The latest tranche of fracking permits issued by the government will allow companies to frack under National Parks including the Peak District and the North York Moors, alongside Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Greenpeace analysis shows.

MPs vote to frack under National Parks – fracking to be allowed under World Heritage Sites and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty

Osborne’s doorstep

Constituencies of many current and former government ministers – such as George Osborne in Tatton and Oliver Letwin in Dorset West, as well as Nick Clegg (Sheffield Hallam), Ed Miliband (Doncaster North) and Andy Burnham (Leigh) – can also now be fracked.

A majority of George Osborne’s constituents in Tatton oppose fracking, according to a Greenpeace poll in 2013.

‘George Osborne might want to have a word with his constituents who could soon see fracking taking place in Tatton. They don’t buy the government’s arguments for fracking – and why should they?’

Hannah Martin, energy campaigner at Greenpeace

Fracking the landscape

The issuing of new permits comes just a day after a controversial Parliamentary vote to allow fracking under National Parks, AONBs, SSSIs, World Heritage Sites and other protected areas – and on the same day that the government announced 65% cuts to crucial funding for solar energy.

‘The government has just hailed the successes of the Paris Climate Summit as a historic agreement in the fight against climate change and the transition to a renewable energy future. And now they’re offering up some of the most outstanding landscapes in the UK for fracking.

‘It’s not just local residents who are shocked – people across the UK rightly see this as an irresponsible move which jeopardises our treasured countryside and jars with our climate commitments in Paris by looking to kick start a whole new fossil fuel industry in the UK.’

Hannah Martin, energy campaigner at Greenpeace

Exclusive rights

Each of the blocks is about 10km2. The government said the official Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDL) will give firms exclusive rights ‘to search and bore for and get petroleum in all the various stages of oil and gas operations – exploration, appraisal, production and abandonment of wells’.

However, the licences do not allow firms to start drilling, as they still require relevant planning consents and environmental permits before development can get under way.

Vulnerable areas

Greenpeace analysis shows that fracking can now be carried out under the following areas, among others:

National Parks

  • North York Moors
  • Peak District

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)

  • Lincolnshire Wolds AONB
  • Forest of Bowland AONB
  • Howardian Hills AONB
  • Dorset AONB
  • Quantock Hills AONB

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)

  • Fairburn and Newton Ings, North Yorkshire/West Yorkshire
  • Strensall Common, North Yorkshire
  • Dark Peak, Peak District
  • South Gare & Coatham Sands, North Yorkshire
  • Seaton Dunes and Common & Seal Sands, North East
  • Millington Wood and Pastures, East Riding of Yorkshire

Click here to find out more about the Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015.

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