Campaigners have vowed to try and save the Peak District from fracking, after the government announced the controversial practice will be allowed to happen beneath national parks.
The news comes despite government assurances last July that such areas would be protected.
Glossop resident Martin Porter, spokesperson for Frack Free Greater Manchester, said: “Fracking is unnecessary, unsafe and unwanted. It is the last gasp of the fossil fuel dinosaurs.
“The Peak District National Park is not the ‘desolate north’, it is somewhere my grandfather fought to protect.
“If the government breaks its promise we could see a new Mass Trespass to protect the Peak.”
Fracking continues to be a controversial issue across the UK, and the furore shows no sign of easing in the High Peak, with the area’s MP now in the firing line.
Labour’s prospective MP for the borough, Caitlin Bisknell, has written an open letter to the current Tory MP Andrew Bingham, challenging him to come clean on his stance over fracking and asking him why he supported government amendments which pave the way for fracking to be carried out in national parks and drinking water areas.
She said: “These were very important and significant changes, especially for High Peak given that most of the constituency sits within or borders upon the Peak District National Park. We also have a number of reservoirs which collect drinking water and, of course, the source of Buxton Mineral Water. Why then did he change his mind and back government proposals which severely weaken those hard-fought for protections?”
And the Green Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for the High Peak, Charlotte Farrell, has said there is now little to stop the fracking companies.
“Thanks to Coalition amendments fracking companies will now be able to drill horizontally from outside the Park, under our houses and farmland without needing property owners’ permission, and with no requirement even to tell us that this is what they are doing,” she added.