Legal challenge to fracking

Balcombe
Protesters against fracking clashed with police in Balcombe Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Greenpeace is planning legal challenges against fracking in a bid to halt plans for the controversial method of extracting gas from rock.

The campaign group said it expected thousands of people to join the "legal block", so that a series of "no go areas" will be set up across England.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Anna Jones said fracking was a "desperate ploy" by the Government to keep the UK hooked on fossil fuels, adding: "Fracking is risky for local environments, risky for our water supplies and risky for the global climate. People are right to stand up and say 'not under my land you don't'."

Greenpeace said a number of residents in areas of potential fracking sites were joining the campaign.

Lawyer Kate Harrison of law firm Harrison Grant, said: "The common law on this is clear. If fracking companies don't seek and receive permission for drilling under people's homes they will be liable for trespass.

"Companies would do well to respect people's rights and not push on with drilling plans where they're not wanted."

Anti-fracking protests were held in the summer in the West Sussex village of Balcombe. There are outline plans for further shale gas exploration across the Meridian region.