Censored fracking report hid the true cost to landscape and homes: Controversial process likely to reduce local house prices, internal document reveal

Fracking is likely to reduce local house prices, increase noise and damage the landscape in rural communities, according to a report officials tried to censor.

An internal document evaluating drilling for gas onshore has now been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) following a battle with campaigners.

A version of it released last summer was censored 63 times in just 13 pages, prompting accusations the Government was seeking to cover-up the impacts of fracking – a controversial process in which shale rock is cracked open at high pressure to release gas and oil.

Defra has now published the full report, which reveals house prices ‘are likely to fall’ by up to 7 per cent and warns that properties may need ‘insurance to cover losses in case of explosion at the site’.

The publication of the report was ordered by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which said its release was ‘in the public interest’.