The recent vote in the House of Commons to extend fracking to the National Parks is likely to have an adverse impact on areas close to them.

Whereas the fracking for shale gas will be unseen, 1,500 metres below the protected parks, the surface operational depots are to be constrained to areas outside the parks.

Already intrusions like wind turbines, not permitted in parks, have marred the skylines just beyond their boundaries. Moreover, development pressure on the border areas, will be increased by the decision to expand both parks.

The Lower Kentdale Division, which I represent on the Cumbria County Council, is particularly vulnerable to insensitive development as it virtually bridges the gap between both national parks from the Kent Estuary in the west at Heversham near the Lake District National Park to the north-east in mid Lunesdale above Rigmaden on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

As the Division occupies the relatively narrow strip between the rocky Pennine backbone of England and the Irish Sea, it already hosts the M6, other major roads, the west coast main line, electric pylons, aqueducts and gas pipe lines.

The addition of fracking service 'pit-heads' would be a further intrusion into a landscape which is often as sensitive and beautiful as the much-cosseted National Parks.

Hence, I believe precious fringe areas like Lower Kentdale deserve similar protection from any visual impact of fracking.

Cllr Roger Bingham