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Communities hit by fracking to get £800,000 more compensation
Updated 11:23pm Thursday 22nd May 2014 in News
Communities across Hampshire affected by controversial ''fracking'' will be offered an average of £800,000 in additional compensation in an effort to stave off opposition in Conservative heartlands, according to reports.
Prime Minister David Cameron, an avid supporter of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, will make the announcement as a survey is published showing the extent of shale gas reserves in the south of England, according to the Times.
The Government will hope the extra money quells criticism of plans to reform trespass laws to allow the fracking industry to grow to give Britain an alternative source of energy.
The compensation will be offered alongside one-off £100,000 payments in areas with fracking sites and a 1% share of profits made.
The announcement will come as the British Geological Survey (BGS) publishes a long-awaited study into the extent of shale gas reserves in the south of England. According to the Times it is expected to show reserves in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, all areas where the Conservatives enjoy support.
Ministers firmly back the exploitation of shale gas reserves in rocks beneath the UK, claiming it could 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.
The Prime Minsiter has insisted fracking will be ''good for our country'' and has blamed a ''lack of understanding'' of the process for some of the opposition.
Mr Cameron's Tory colleague Lord Howell, Chancellor George Osborne's father-in-law, has caused controversy by calling for fracking to be carried out in the ''desolate North''.
The BGS has already found large reserves of shale gas in the North but has now completed a months-long survey of the extent of it in the South.
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