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Ewing against change in fracking rules

Scotland’s energy minister will oppose moves to remove the right of householders to object to fracking companies drilling beneath their homes, the BBC has reported.

The UK government is consulting on plans which would make it easier for firms to drill under residential areas.

Companies would be given automatic access rights, but only for drilling at a depth of more than 1,000ft (300m).

Fergus Ewing told BBC Scotland any decision should be taken at Holyrood, rather than Westminster.

Fracking is the controversial process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is used to recover gas and oil from shale rock.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, would only occur at far greater depths of 5,000 ft (1.5km) or more.

Industry sources say the UK government proposals would bring oil and gas companies into line with the water, gas and electricity sectors.

In return, communities would receive a one-off payment of £20,000 for each horizontal well of more than 200m in length.

A 12-week consultation on the proposals was announced in May by the then Business and Energy Minister, Michael Fallon.

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