Read here the BBC’s July 2014 article on the Government’s decision relating to the new bidding round for licences to frack in the UK.

In summary, fracking licences can only be issued for beauty spots in “exceptional circumstances”, according to the new rules issued by government.

The article states, ‘Planning permission may be granted in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty if “it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest”.

A response from Greenpeace said: “In fact, so far as we can tell, the announcement actually makes it easier for developers to drill in national parks – by giving the communities secretary the automatic right to overrule local authorities who reject an application.”

Whilst the National trust commented “We hope it will reflect a much more cautious approach that recognises the risks of turning some of the most special places in the country over to industrial scale extraction of shale gas and oil,”.

An agreement to proceed with drilling would still be subject to planning permission and permits from the Environment Agency.