New government guidance on fracking is unlawful, the High Court has ruled.
Campaign group Talk Fracking argued that the government had not considered the latest scientific evidence when formulating its policy.
The government has launched a consultation that asks whether local communities must be consulted on shale gas proposals in England before submitting a planning application.
Fracking for shale gas has begun for the first time in the UK since it was linked with earthquakes in 2011.
The government is pushing to make gas development easier by allowing exploratory drilling to be handled under permitted development rights.
Shale gas company Cuadrilla is expected to start fracking at a well in Lancashire in the next few weeks after a minister rubber-stamped its application.
A powerful group of landowners representing more than 32,000ha has voiced its opposition to fracking or shale gas extraction.
Britain’s biggest fracking company has been given permission for a High Court challenge to the National Trust’s refusal to allow access to land for seismic surveys.
West Sussex County Council’s planning committee has approved Cuadrilla’s application to flow test and monitor an existing exploration well at the company’s site at Lower Stumble, Balcombe.
Landowners are seeking assurances from government that their businesses will be insured for any damage caused by fracking on their land.
The Conservative government is pressing ahead with shale gas exploration in the UK, despite strong opposition from green groups and local councils, who have raised concerns about the environmental impact.
Cuadrilla’s bid to explore for shale gas beneath the Lancashire countryside could move ahead within weeks after its opponents lost a High Court legal challenge against the project.
The Preston New Road Action Group and campaigner Gayzer Frackman, a professional clown, failed to dash Cuadrilla’s plans to use hydraulic fracturing to unlock onshore gas reserves in the north west of England.
The UK government has triggered an outcry from environmentalists and many Lancashire residents; by backing on appeal proposals from energy company Cuadrilla, involving fracking originally refused by the county council.
Thursday's decision by Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, to give Cuadrilla planning consent to frack in Lancashire, following Third Energy gaining planning consent in North Yorkshire earlier this year, means that the controversial technique is on track to be used on both sides of the Pennines in 2017.
North Yorkshire County Council's planning committee has incensed many environmentalists as well as residents in and around Kirby Misperton by granting oil and gas company Third Energy planning permission to undertake exploratory fracking tests. The permission was granted for tests to take place at an existing borehole site where conventional drilling for on shore gas has been underway for years.
The fracking proposal involves an existing two-mile deep well called KM8, that was drilled in 2013. The decision to give fracking the green light came after two days of deliberations.
Mineral planning authorities (MPAs) should provide key information to both the Department for Energy and Climate Change and applicants when approving relevant shale gas or oil developments involving fracking, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has formally requested.
MPs have voted to allow fracking for shale gas 1,200m below national parks and other protected sites.
The new regulations - which permit drilling from outside the protected areas - were approved by 298 to 261.
The decision to allow shale gas drilling - or fracking - in Lancashire will be made directly by the government, it has emerged.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark informed Lancashire County Council of his intent on Thursday.
Energy firm Cuadrilla is appealing against the council's refusal in June to allow fracking on two sites.
Most planning appeals are usually decided by a planning inspector.
The Government has clarified the planning regime for shale gas applications and outlined the circumstances which could trigger ministerial intervention.
The administration has also set out the criteria for identifying under-performing planning authorities in respect of shale gas exploration and development schemes.
Fracking could reduce house prices by as much as seven per cent and make homes harder to sell because of traffic and noise issues - but it could also boost rental markets, according to a draft official report.
Fracking could reduce house prices, increase traffic and noise and damage the landscape in rural communities, according to a draft official report.
The government was forced to publish the unredacted report after a decision by data watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office.
Defra said the report was incomplete and "not analytically robust".
Environmental group Greenpeace claims that a survey of 60 estate agents operating close to potential fracking sites suggests tens of thousands of pounds will be wiped off the value of homes - and that they will become harder to sell.
Agents in areas already targeted by fracking companies are also reporting concerns from prospective buyers over looming shale developments, with some sales already falling through as a result, claims Greenpeace.
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