A newly-elected Conservative MP in North Yorkshire has called for a six mile “buffer zone” around fracking sites to stop the countryside become industrialised.
Kevin Hollinrake’s constituency of Thirsk and Malton contains potential fracking sites which are being considered for approval.
Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate, Hollinrake said: “Traditionally, the fracking process involves a high number of lorry movements and unsightly infrastructure that could be a real blot on the landscape.
“I propose clear planning guidance that there must be buffer zones, with a minimum distance between sites of, say, six miles. We do not want the images of a fracked industrial landscape from North Dakota to become a reality here.”
Hollinrake asserted that he is “keeping an open mind” about fracking in his constituency and supports the industry “in principle” and described shale gas as “a great opportunity”.
“I think we have one chance of doing this and I would like to see it done right, with the proper protections in place,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The Government does not believe there is a need to set a fixed ‘buffer zone’ between oil and gas developments.
“Each development will be determined by local planning authorities on a case-by-case basis, and any separation distance can be set through planning conditions.”
The UKOOG, said: “The industry looks at each site on its merits including geography, topography and geology, a rigorous evidence based approach is employed. There is no scientific evidence to support buffer zones.”