Alan Whitehead has today criticised the government for proposing to allow fracking companies to drill under peoples' homes without their permission.
The current trespass laws require people to give consent for shale gas and oil drilling under their property, but the government announced today that it will change the law to end this requirement in order to fast track fracking. This is particularly relevant for shale gas extraction where wells are drilled horizontally, sometimes up to 3km from the well pad.
Anti-fracking campaigners had been using the law of trespass to try and stop the ground under their properties being fracked.
Speaking after the Queen’s speech, Alan said:
“The change in the law that the government has outlined today is extremely concerning, especially for our area, which has both a sensitive natural environment and potential shale gas reserves.
It effectively means that once a shale company has a licence to frack, they will be allowed to drill anywhere they wish within the area of their licence, be that in areas of national parkland or under people’s homes.
The government is basically denying homeowners and public bodies the right to challenge fracking under their properties, which is against the wishes of the majority of the British public.
I have long argued that we have to be clear about what the real consequences of fracking might be. This proposal will mean that property owners will have even less ways to make their voice heard about the issue.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- For more information please contact Rebecca Williams, Rebecca.email@example.com , 020 7219 5517
- The change in law was found to be opposed by 74% of the public http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/06/fracking-trespass-law-changes-opposed-by-74-of-britons