Campaign groups have lined up in opposition to fracking as the bidding process for licences gets underway, with claims that the process is bad for the environment and unsafe to the public.
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth say plans to protect National Parks will not quieten protesters, adding that communities should be offered the same safeguards.
Today the risk of fracking has spread. This threat to the environment and public health could now affect millions more people.
Ministers waited until the parliamentary recess to make their move, no doubt aware of the political headache this will cause to MPs whose constituencies will be affected.
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Research carried out in December revealed 86% of surveyors reported no increase in first-time buyer inquiries following the changes.
A survey of 900 GPs revealed that doctors are seeing on average around 41.5 patients every day.
Freezing cold : wintry, wet & very windy