Ministers agreed to renew an onshore petroleum exploration and development licence, known as PEDL 162, covering parts of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Moodiesburn,
The licence, which was previously renewed by the Scottish Government last year, is 80 per cent owned by Ineos.
Council leader Jim Logue said: “It’s quite clear that the SNP say one thing and mean another when it comes to fracking. They previously announced to great fanfare that they had ‘banned’ fracking when, in reality, all they had done was extend a moratorium.
“Now we find out that they have renewed a fracking licence that expired last month for a further year that affects significant areas of North Lanarkshire.
“The question must be asked: if fracking has been banned by the SNP, then why extend this licence for a further year?”
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn, however, commented: “Jim Logue either doesn’t understand the process underway or worse is trying to mislead people. The fundamental question must surely be, is fracking happening in Scotland. The answer, of course, is no, due to the effective ban that the SNP has put in place. Given that there has already been a legal challenge to the Scottish Government’s process in moving forward with its preferred policy position to not allow fracking, albeit an unsuccessful challenge, every step in this process must be tread carefully. No action can be taken that might prejudice this process,
Mark Kerr, spokesman for the SNP group at North Lanarkshire Council, added: “The SNP Government introduced a moratorium on onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction, including by the fracking process in January 2015. It means that no local authority can grant planning permission for any proposed fracking or coal bed methane project anywhere in Scotland.”
Neil McGrory - Local Democracy Reporting Service