A local council is seeking to ban fracking in its area in what it claims is the first such move by a local authority in the UK against the controversial gas extraction procedure.
Brent, in north London, said it was seeking to use “any legal avenues” available to prevent energy firms from being able to drill within its boundaries.
The Government firmly backs action to exploit what are believed to be large reserves of shale gas in rocks beneath the UK, which it claims could help bring down energy bills and create thousands of jobs.
Environmental activists are bitterly opposed to the technique, which opponents say can increase climate change, cause small earthquakes and pollute water supplies.
Although Labour-controlled Brent is considered unlikely to be the target of initial fracking activity, the council said it would seek a ban in response to a report by Public Health England. Health officials said their initial review suggested the risks to people’s health were low – but only as long as the process was “properly run and regulated”.
In a statement, Brent said it would “look at utilising any legal avenues it has at its disposal to stop shale gas extraction” amid concerns that insufficient regulation is in place.