The process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rock. Fracking under homes in Lancashire by energy firm Cuadrilla has been approved by the Government, overruling the decision of local councillors.
A final decision on a second site, Roseacre Wood, has been delayed to allow Cuadrilla to give more evidence about the traffic impact.
However, if the company can address concerns raised by the planning inspector, Mr Javid has said he is also minded to approve the plans.
The four wells Cuadrilla plans to drill at Preston New Road would be the first horizontal shale wells to be fracked in the UK, meaning that for the first time the controversial process will take place underneath homes.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla chief executive, said: “We are very pleased that we can now move ahead with our shale gas exploration plans which will start to create new economic growth opportunities and jobs for people in Lancashire and the UK.
“This news has given Lancashire a big vote of confidence in its economic and energy future.”
But campaigners condemned the decision.
Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth north-west campaigner, said: This is bad news for Lancashire – the community have been fighting fracking for more than five years. This fight continues until this unproven and unpopular industry disappear for good.
Hannah Martin, campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “This fudged decision shows the government is struggling to force fracking on a reluctant nation. Fracking will put our countryside and air quality at risk.
Digging up more fossil fuels that we can’t burn if we are to honour the international agreement we signed in Paris and is coming into force next month makes little economic or environmental sense.