Sajid Javid, the Communities secretary, has overturned Lancashire County Council’s decision to reject fracking causing outrage amongst environmental groups.
Mr Javid said: “The country is running out of gas, and without some form of energy development, we’re going to end up importing all of our fuel from overseas.”
The council rejected two applications from Cuadrilla because of the noise and visual impact of the work. But Mr Javid accepted the shale gas firm’s appeal and drilling will start next year. This ruling gives the green light to future fracking projects.
Greenpeace campaigner, Hannah Martin, said: “This fudged decision shows the government is struggling to force fracking on a reluctant nation. Fracking will put our countryside and air quality at risk.”
Environmentalists have also highlighted a report by the Committee on Climate Change, set up to advise the government. The report concluded that fracking “on a significant scale is not compatible with UK climate targets,” unless a number of conditions were met.