Barbara has condemned plans that the Conservative-led Government is reported to be considering to change trespass laws to make it easier for companies to drill for shale gas.
Under current trespass laws, companies planning to drill for shale gas must have the permission of all landowners beneath whose homes they want to drill. However, Coalition Government Ministers have admitted that they are now reviewing the trespass laws and may remove the requirement for access to be granted by homeowners. This could mean that companies wanting to drill for shale gas under homes would not need permission from the homeowners.
The Government is expected to consult on the proposals shortly.
“This is yet another attempt by the Government to rush ahead with shale gas schemes while removing the rights of the communities involved to have a say. I think it is wrong that Government Ministers are considering this and I believe it would have a negative impact on residents living near to the drilling site at Barton Moss.
“Residents living near the drilling site have already told me that they are worried about whether they will ever be able to sell their homes or get insurance cover against damage caused by drilling operations. Removing homeowners’ rights to refuse permission to drill under their homes will be yet another blow to local people. I call on the Government to look at the rights of people living near the drilling site and consider the negative impact that this change could have on the lives of those people.”