News story

Shale developments to be banned in all UK national parks

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Government yesterday announced a commitment to ban fracking in National Parks.

The Government’s commitment is to an outright ban on fracking in National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Previously we published guidance that confirmed planning permission should be refused in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest.

This was announced as part of the debate of the Infrastructure Bill in the House of Commons.

A Government Spokesperson said:

“The Government has already built a robust regulatory system for the development of the shale industry in the UK. Today we are committing to formalise the safeguards, including a new ban on fracking in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Successfully extracting shale gas out of the ground can create a whole new British industry, creating jobs, and make us less reliant on imports from abroad, but we recognise the need for a measured approach for this nascent industry.”

Notes to editors

We are today:

  • Making a public commitment to an outright ban on fracking in National Parks, SSSI and AONB.
  • Putting in place a range of measures to provide the public with confidence that this industry is being taken forward in a balanced way, including environmental impact assessments, groundwater monitoring and community benefit measures.
  • Building on a previous amendment, if the Committee on Climate Change advise us that shale gas may adversely impact on climate change objectives, we commit to either deactivate the underground access provisions or make a written statement to parliament explaining the reasons for not doing so.