The government is poised to announce that energy firms will be given the right to “frack” under private land without the owner’s permission, according to reports today.
It is understood the move will be included in the Queen’s Speech in June - paving the way to avoid any legal block by protesters if shale gas exploration is approved.
The legal move would change trespass laws.
According to national media reports, energy minister Michael Fallon is set to give more details at a shale gas supply chain conference in Blackpool on Thursday.
Gas exploration company Cuadrilla is planning to “frack” for shale gas at two sites in Lancashire - Rosecare Wood and near Little Plumpton near Preston.
In the North West the number of residents backing a Greenpeace petition to launch a mass legal block against fracking has reached nearly 7,000, with almost 2,000 in Lancashire alone.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy was unable to comment on the reports this morning.