Households hit by fracking could receive shale wealth fund payments

The move could go some way to countering resistance to fracking Credit: PA

Households in areas affected by fracking will receive cash payments of potentially thousands of pounds under new plans announced by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The money will come from a £1 billion shale wealth fund that was set up by former chancellor George Osborne.

The money - which could constitute up to 10% of tax revenues from the proceeds of fracking - was due to be paid to local councils and community trusts.

But Ms May is amending the scheme so the money can go direct to residents.

It is expected that the new Fund could deliver as much as £10 million to each community where wells are sited.

Downing Street declined to estimate how much payouts could be worth, but it is thought that individual households could receive between £5,000 and £20,000.

The move could go some way to countering resident resistance to fracking.

But critics will likely characterise it as a "bribe" to householders which could divert cash away from community priorities such as infrastructure.