ANTI-fracking campaigners have reacted furiously to a proposed new law that would make it easier for firms to drill under people’s homes.
The Government’s Infrastructure Bill could include measures to change the law so companies would not need permission from homeowners to drill under houses and land for shale oil and gas.
It is intended to remove a stumbling block for shale developers, who are already facing a ‘legal block’ of thousands of people across the country denying them permission under trespass laws to drill under their properties.
If fracking is given the go-ahead, massive reserves of underground shale gas are lying along the M65 corridor.
The British Geological Survey’s study of shale gas resources in Lancashire doubled estimates of reserves and extended the potential drilling area from Blackpool and the Fylde across the county.
But opponents have highlighted the potential for mini earthquakes, water contamination and gas coming through the taps.
The move, announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, sparked protests, with campaigners expected outside Burnley Town Hall last night ahead of a council meeting.
And in the Cotswolds, campaigners from Greenpeace held a protest outside the home of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Danielle Kay, from East Lancashire Against Fracking, said: “It worries me. I am gravely concerned.
“I seriously think if fracking is allowed to go ahead we are jeopardising our water, our air and our ability to grow agriculture.
“I do not think we have a future if fracking goes ahead.
“I think the Government is being very short-sighted and it outrages me they are ploughing it through when the public is so opposed to is. It is very scary.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw has been a keen advocate of fracking in East Lancashire – and supports the Infrastructure Bill. He added: “I think it will produce benefits for the Lancashire community. What is crucial is that communities get a reasonable share of the revenue stream.”