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Peak District National Park free from fracking, Government announces

The Peak District National Park will be protected from fracking unless there are “exceptional circumstances”, ministers have announced.

The Government is today unveiling new planning rules which will make it harder to drill fracking wells in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The new rules state fracking should only be allowed in these areas in “exceptional circumstances”.

A spokesman for the National Trust said: “It’s right that the Government has recognised the concerns about fracking in special places like national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

“We welcome the new planning guidance which makes clear that applications should be refused in these areas other than in exceptional circumstances.

“But it’s not just national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty that could be at risk. We’d like to see this approach extended to nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest as well.”

Fracking involves blasting water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into shale rock formations to release the gas held inside. Campaigners fear the process could trigger small earthquakes.

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