The government has announced the approval of the first horizontal fracking site in one location in Lancashire. The Secretary of State overruled the Local Authority’s previous decision to reject the application and he has advised he would be minded to approve a second Lancashire site if road safety issues are resolved.
This is a giant boost for the UK shale gas industry but might leave homeowners wondering whether this approval will open the flood gates and what impact it could have on properties in the vicinity of other potential sites. To date, the government has resisted the idea of offering compensation to householders near proposed fracking sites.
Case studies on active sites in the USA show the sites work day and night but operators are keen to minimise disruption to surrounding communities and the opinions of local residents are mixed just as with reactions to today’s announcement with supporters heralding the benefits to local businesses and employment and campaigners believing the decision to be an affront to democracy.
As part of the house buying process, searches are available which indicate whether there is any planned exploration in the vicinity and, in light of last week’s announcement, it may be prudent to carry out such searches. Homebuyers will also need to consider what impact there may be on house prices and the insurability of the property.