16/08/2013 08:02 BST

Fracking Must Be Accepted For 'Cash Benefit', Says Tim Yeo

Tim Yeo MP, chairman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, after commenting on plans to increase taxes on high emission transport. The Committee said today that the Government should raise taxes on air travel and high-polluting cars in order to reverse the trend of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Communities should be "compelled" to accept fracking, solar farms and wind turbines, with those who do getting "significant cash benefit", Tory MP Tim Yeo has said.

"It is in the best interest of local communities that the country accepts fracking. Local concerns of course have to be respected, but we must compel communities to accept this new method," he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

Yeo, formerly chair of the Commons energy committee, said local communities that accept the controversial shale gas excavation technique should get "significant cash benefit" from it instead of a "vague payment" to the local council.

"Local communities should be able to share in the benefits, much more substantially than they can at the moment.

"I think a significant cash benefit has to flow back to local communities. Whether it's fracking, whether it's a solar farm, whether it's a wind turbine, if they are willing to accept those in the national interest as part of our national energy mix they should share in the rewards - cash benefits to the local communities.

"Not some vague payment to the county council which people will see disappearing to a car park in the next town but something which comes directly back to the people who live in the villages most affected."

Yeo's comments come after fracking firm Cuadrilla was hit by demonstrators in Balcombe and Tory peer Lord Howell called for fracking in the "desolate" north east of England, and then the "unloved" north west of England.

Yeo is also an unpaid director to ITI Energy Limited, which supplies gasification equipment for fracking firms.

Yeo was chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee until he stepped aside voluntarily in June to investigate lobbying claims made against him in a newspaper sting. Yeo denies breaching lobbying rules.