New plans to accelerate fracking development have been released by the government, amid accusations that the move will harm the environment and local communities.
The measures are intended to make planning decisions faster and fairer for all those involved in new developments.
Business secretary Greg Clark and housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire issued a joint statement in which they reiterated the governments position on the importance of safe and sustainable exploration and development of our onshore shale gas.
Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry said: British shale gas has the potential to help lower bills and increase the security of the UKs energy supply while creating high quality jobs in a cutting-edge sector.
This package of measures delivers on our manifesto promise to support shale and it will ensure exploration happens in the most environmentally responsible way while making it easier for companies and local communities to work together.
However, campaigners responded to the announcement with anger. Daniel Carey-Dawes, senior infrastructure campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: This announcement signals an outright assault on local communities ability to exercise their democratic rights in influencing fracking applications.
It reads like a wish list from the fracking companies themselves. The government may want to provide sweeteners for communities affected, but nothing will change the fact that this will be a bitter pill to swallow.