Fracking came one step closer to the Cotswolds after MPs voted to enable it to happen in areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks.
The controversial method of extracting gas will be allowed under the most beautiful parts of the country after the measures were cleared by a vote in Parliament.
From now on fracking can take place three-quarters of a mile below national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and world heritage sites in England.
Local Conservative MPs Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswolds), Neil Carmichael (Stroud) and Alex Chalk (Cheltenham) all voted to relax the rules in the House of Commons.
Reacting to the news, County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Bourton and Northleach) said he was horrified at the move:
“The Cotswolds has a huge area of AONB within in and it’s a special place. Yet now, we have the very real prospect of fracking taking place underneath us. The vote in Parliament gives the green light to this yet no one locally has been consulted.
“It is outrageous that the Cotswolds MP has supported a relaxation of the rules on fracking. We should be doing all we can to protect the unique nature of the area we live in, not jeopardise it.
“So many questions of safety are still being asked about fracking. Only last week the Government signed up to a landmark climate change deal and is now abandoning those pledges to create a market for another fossil fuel.
“Our AONB is now at risk and those who voted for this should hang their heads in shame.”
“This is a massive risk to our landscape, heritage and tourism industry. Investing in green energy is the way forward.”