Fracking could cut house prices by up to seven per cent

 
Jessica Morris
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Fracking could be bad news for nearby homeowners (Source: Getty)

Fracking could cut nearby house prices by up to seven per cent and increase the cost of insuring a home, according to previously redacted sections of a government report released yesterday.

The Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) looked at the impact of fracking operations on rural economies.

A heavily redacted version was initially published under freedom of information rules by the government last year, but the information commissioner's office recently ruled that it must be released in full.

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The report also found fracking operations could push up local rents as more workers move into the area.

It flagged environmental risks, such as the possibility of waste leaking during the fracking process and the impact this would have on local surroundings, as well as the people living there.

It said even if contaminated surface water doesn't directly affect drinking water, humans could still suffer by consuming contaminated wildlife, livestock or agricultural products.

"We respect the independent decision of the Information Commissioner's Office and have today released this paper in full," a Defra spokesman said.

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"This document was drawn up as a draft internal discussion paper - it is not analytically robust, has not been peer-reviewed and remains incomplete."

"It does not contain any new data or evidence and many of the conclusions amount to unsubstantiated conjecture which do not represent the views of officials or ministers."

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