Ministers are facing a fresh confrontation with local councils over their controversial plans to expand fracking, after one of the biggest combined authorities in the country set out plans to ban the practice. Greater Manchester’s decision to effectively stop companies from extracting underground shale gas in the region was greeted as a critical moment in the fight against fracking, which critics say is dangerous and unproven. The 10 local authorities that make up Greater Manchester will put planning measures in place to create a “presumption” against fracking for shale gas, said the area’s mayor, Andy Burnham, as part of its effort to become carbon neutral by 2038. The announcement, which comes as London finalises a similar scheme, will amplify discontent among local councils – including Tory-controlled authorities – that experts said could lead to a showdown with central government, and potentially kill off ministers’ plans.
Guardian 4th Jan 2019 read more »
Independent 5th Jan 2019 read more »