A “frack-free” zone has been declared in Brighton and Hove.

With Sussex one of the main areas in the UK that firms are looking at for the controversial drilling technique to extract gas, Brighton and Hove City Council has taken a step to make a “declaration of intent”.

Although not legally binding, the agreement provides a framework position which could be used by the local authority to make representations about any fracking plans for the area.

It was approved by the council’s influential policy and resources committee.

Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald described the move as “nonsense”, adding the local authority had no control over fracking applications.

But Green councillor Pete West argued: “Brighton is now a green beacon of the country and it’s important we use that to have say on this threat.”

Green and Labour councillors voted for the report but Conservative councillors abstained.

It comes after Tory-led East Sussex County Council became the first area in the UK to pass an “anti-fracking” motion.

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