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Great news for Formby as Fracking is banned in England

Fracking in England has been banned after new research raised fresh fears over the risk of earthquakes. This is fantastic news for Formby as the site in Great Altcar will not go ahead, fantastic news for Frack Free Formby and all the hard work they have done over the last few years!

The government has withdrawn support and said it will block further proposals to change the planning process for fracking sites.

It has previously supported shale gas exploration and fracking, which it considered a means to produce a domestic, low-carbon fuel alternative.

It also marks a sharp U-turn for Mr Johnson, who once hailed fracking as "glorious news for humanity" and said energy companies "should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked".

Fracking had been expected to feature prominently in the campaign for the 12th December general election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has branded the stoppage "an election stunt to try and win a few votes".

The moratorium comes after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority found it is not currently possible to accurately predict the likelihood of strength of earthquakes linked to fracking operations.

There have been a series of seismic tremors at a fracking site in Lancashire this year, including a 2.1- magnitude tremor at Cuadrilla's site near Blackpool in August - days after a 1.55-magnitude movement.

There have been regular protests at the Lancashire site.

But Liberal Democrat former energy secretary Ed Davey said: "Liberal Democrats back an immediate ban now - given the evidence we are now in a climate emergency.”

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting water and chemicals at high pressure to break up rock and extract gas.

There are three companies with fracking licences in the UK, all based in the north of England. Only one, Cuadrilla, currently has an active site in Lancashire. But the series of tremors there in August meant that fracking was suspended, pending investigation and review.

The August tremors measured between 2.0 and 2.9 magnitude, with an average ground motion of 5mm per second, about a third of the level of motion that is permitted for construction projects.

But anti-fracking campaigners say the moratorium is good news for communities who have long campaigned for sites to be shut.

"This industry is poisonous, it's toxic, it contributes significantly to climate change it has no place in our communities," Eddie Thornton, who lives near a proposed fracking site in North Yorkshire, said: “The moratorium represents a significant victory for communities like mine up and down the country that have been fighting fracking for so long.”

"But the timing of this announcement will now be lost on anyone. It's a cynical attempt to grease the wheels of Boris Johnson's election bus."

Fracking is already banned in Wales and Scotland.

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