The UK Government could fast-track applications for fracking as part of new plans to give shale gas a boost in the country.
According to reports new guidance will be issued this week moving to strengthen the power of ministers to step in following decisions from local authorities.
It is understood ministers have become frustrated at attempts to get the shale gas revolution off the ground.
It comes after the firm Cuadrilla has been faced by a number of hurdles – and rejections – for fracking applications in Lancashire.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who visited BP’s ETAP platform in the North Sea last week, told The Sunday Times that the UK needs more “secure, home-grown energy supplies and shale gas must play
a part…we can’t continue with a system that sees applications dragged out for months.”
In the guidance set to be issued, Communities Secretary Greg Clark is expected to tell local authorities that there is an urgent need to develop shale gas and oil resources.
New rules could make it easier for the Communities Secretary to hear appeals such as Cuadrilla’s.
Fracking involves the pumping of water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to release gas trapped in shale deposits.
Environmental campaigners have raised concerns it is dangerous and could cause pollution.
Last month Cuadrilla said it planned to appeal a decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse planning consent for two licences for temporary shale gas exploration sites.