Fracking could reduce house prices, increase traffic and noise and damage the landscape in rural communities, according to a draft official Defra report.
The government was forced to publish the unredacted report after a decision by data watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Defra said the report was incomplete and “not analytically robust”.
It added that the conclusions of the draft report “amount to unsubstantiated conjecture”.
United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), the industry lobby for the UK onshore oil and gas industry, said the report was “in danger of extrapolating the experiences of other jurisdictions that have different regulation, planning regimes and geologies.”
The internal document – called ‘Shale Gas: Rural Economy Impacts‘ – had several key sections obscured when it was published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last summer in response to a request under freedom of information laws.
Energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands of Greenpeace, which led the request, said: “It’s a complete vindication of Lancashire County Council’s decision to reject Cuadrilla’s bid to frack in their region, and provides other councils with compelling reasons to do the same.”
Defra has now been forced by the Information Commissioner’s Office to publish the document in full.
It reveals that potential negative impacts of the controversial process of fracking had been redacted.