A NORTH Yorkshire MP has warned of a “riot” in the county after the Government was accused of breaking a promise to ban fracking in National Parks.

An amended Bill paves the way for horizontal drilling for shale gas under protected sites from wells put up just outside them – potentially for up to three kilometres.

Yet, last month, ministers bowed to pressure from Labour and Tory backbenchers to concede a total ban in National Parks, including North the York Moors where many gas reserves lie. In the Commons, energy minister Amber Rudd said ministers would not ban fracking “within or under” protected areas because the legislation needed to be “flexible”.

She told MPs: “It might not be practical to guarantee that fracking will not take place under them, in all cases, without unduly constraining the industry.”

Such detail, and many other possible curbs on hydraulic fracturing will not be decided until a separate vote in the summer – after the May 7 general election.

That means the regulations will be unknown until after Third Energy’s expected application to frack near Kirby Misperton, Pickering, next month – although that is outside the National Park.

Anne McIntosh, the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton and a leading fracking sceptic, whose constituency includes the planned site, said: “There will be a riot in Ryedale because the commitments the Government made seem to have been reversed.

“We were told there would be no fracking in, or under, National Parks – and not in, or under Sites of Special Scientific Interest – and now that’s gone. We are being asked to take an awful lot on trust with the promise of regulations later. They should have been written on the face of the Bill.”

The department for energy and climate change (DECC) acknowledged there was a “bit of uncertainty” about the eventual restrictions on fracking.

In particular, whether drilling could go ahead near groundwater sources was “yet to be determined”.

A DECC spokesman said: “There’s a bit of uncertainty. We will provide further clarity in secondary legislation, by the end of July.”

The Infrastructure Bill, which includes a roads strategy and planning reforms, has now cleared all stages of Parliament and will receive Royal Assent soon.