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Greater Manchester is to ban fracking across all 10 of its local councils.

Planning rules to be detailed next week will contain a presumption against allowing the controversial method for extracting gas.

Fracking was suspended several times last month at a site near Blackpool, Lancashire, after small earthquakes were recorded.

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Video: How fracking works

Drilling firm Cuadrilla only resumed work at the site – the UK's first horizontal shale gas well – in October after a judge said the risk was not significant enough to keep it closed.

Fracking involves drilling deep into the earth, pumping water, sand and chemicals into the rock at high pressure to release stored shale gas.

Campaigners say the process carries a number of risks, such as causing small earthquakes and polluting water.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla 1:28
Video: Oct 2018 – Cuadrilla boss: Fracking site 'demonstrably safe'

There is no official estimate of how much gas could be produced by fracking in the UK, but the government believes it could play an important role in meeting energy needs without relying on imports – as well as creating jobs.

But Greater Manchester's mayor and former Labour MP, Andy Burnham, is supporting a ban as part of the region's plan to become carbon neutral.

"This is quite a radical policy, making quite a big statement," he told the Manchester Evening News.

"It's a firm position on behalf of the 10 boroughs and Greater Manchester as a whole, where we have large numbers of potential sites.

"I think that's quite significant when we have the issue with Lancashire."

So far, only exploratory test drilling has taken place in Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester has just announced a ban on fracking as part of its plans to become carbon neutral. Well done @AndyBurnhamGM and all those who have campaigned for this.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) January 4, 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his praise for the ban, while London mayor Sadiq Khan has also said he fiercely opposes the prospect of fracking in the capital.

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The ban will be formally announced on Monday when Greater Manchester authorities set out a long-term vision for housing, planning, infrastructure and the environment.

Fracking has been outlawed in Scotland since October 2017.

Original Article