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Your legal rights if you are about to be fracked?

By Head of Business and Specialised Litigation Services

It’s unlikely the law will assist if all the legal procedures have been compiled with.

What is fracking?

Fracking is used to extract shale based gas from beneath land. It is a controversial area but some say that it is essential if we are to reduce energy costs and reliance on non UK suppliers.

The legal position on fracking

It’s unlikely that Human Rights legislation will assist as the relevant right to family life and home are qualified rights that do not apply if an overriding justification applies as would likely be the case.

This is because under UK legislation all shale gas is owned by the state even though the land containing it is not. The government has the right to grant licences to applicants, who need not be the lands owners, to search, drill for and extract shale gas. The consent of the Department of Energy is also required. Planning permission will usually be required and due planning process will have to be followed.

UK compulsory purchase legislation allows for the acquisition of land for shale extraction, site access, pipe laying and mining. Compensation is payable if land is compulsory purchased but only to cover loss of value and enjoyment and not any value associated with the benefits which may accrue from the extraction of gas.

So if a licence is granted, planning rules met, departmental consent obtained and the land is owned by the miner or compulsorily acquired and fair loss of value paid,
it is unlikely anyone will be able to use the law to stop fracking operations

Affected because of fracking nearby?

A nearby landowner or occupier will be able to take action their land is actually damaged but only if by an activity beyond that covered by the license. An injunction might be possible if such damage was clearly imminent.

However if this happens or seems likely to happen contact us on 0800 916 9015 urgently.

Fracking Action Groups

If you are an action group that believes fracking planning or licensing requirement have been or are being infringed contacts us by phone on 0800 916 9015 or email