An article in the Daily Telegraph discusses farmers’ fear they could face financial ruin from government plans to allow fracking beneath their land without compensation, the National Farmers’ Union has warned. The NFU say that ministers pushing for shale gas exploration cannot take the support of rural communities for granted and are turning farmers against the process by appearing to brush side their concerns.
The Government is pressing ahead with new laws that would strip people of power to block fracking beneath their property or land. It has insisted no compensation will be paid to individual home and landowners, because they should not be affected by the gas or oil extraction deep beneath them.
But the NFU, which represents 47,000 farm businesses across England and Wales, said its members feared that the value of their land above fracking sites could be reduced “because of current attitudes and perceptions of fracking” – even if no harm was actually caused. This could result from people refusing to buy food that is grown in fracking areas, or avoiding these areas on holiday and thus affecting farmers’ ancilliary businesses, like farm shops and B&Bs.
This could have serious consequences for farmers, especially those with mortgages secured to their land – for whom “any reduction in the value of the land could have significant financial implications”.
Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.