Tim Farron has condemned the government decision to allow fracking in national parks and other sensitive areas, protected at Liberal Democrat insistence under the coalition.
The change is being made by statutory instrument so that the House of Commons will not be allowed to debate it.
Tim said "The Government’s decision to sneak through a huge change to allow fracking in our National Parks without a proper debate is outrageous. They have shown their true colours and complete lack of regard for protecting some of the most beautifully scenery in the UK and its wildlife. It is tantamount to vandalism to not recognise that some areas simply must be protected from fracking so they can be enjoyed by future generations. The Liberal Democrats protected National Parks and important wildlife sites from fracking while in Government, and have consistently taken a cautious approach to fracking. There are some sites where fracking should be banned in all circumstances. Our priority is to make sure this happens and to focus on how Britain can best deliver a low-carbon future to tackle climate change."
The Liberal Democrats protected National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and groundwater source protection zones from fracking while in Government, within the Infrastructure Bill. Now that the Conservatives are on their own, they have reneged on the commitment that was made. In the SI, fracking will be allowed in these places below 1,200m and in the case of SSSIs, at surface level too.