Plans to allow fracking companies to drill below people's land without their agreement would be reversed if Scotland is given increased powers over oil and gas drilling, Finance Secretary John Swinney has said.

Scottish ministers called for the devolved powers last week after Westminster announced it will press ahead with UK-wide proposals to give companies the right to drill at depths of 300 metres or more under private land without negotiating a right of access.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ran a consultation earlier this year asking whether the Government should legislate for underground access to gas, oil and geothermal developers below 300 metres.

More than 99% of the 40,647 respondents opposed the idea but the DECC said it will continue with the proposed policy, saying it is the ''right approach''.

The Scottish Government argues the powers should be devolved as part of the package to give Holyrood greater autonomy following the No vote in the independence referendum.

Mr Swinney told MSPs today: "The Scottish Government does not support the removal of the rights of householders to object to oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing beneath their homes.

"We've been very clear about that point and if we had the opportunity to do something different we would take the opposite step."

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald accused the UK Government of "riding roughshod" over public opinion in a "dash for gas".

But Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said fracking could be a "huge opportunity for Scotland" and urged the Government not to give in to "misinformation and conspiracy theories".

Green MSP Patrick Harvie called on Mr Swinney to go further and commit to ruling out fracking in Scotland entirely, arguing opinion polls showed stronger opposition in Scotland than in any other part of the UK.

He said: "Surely it matters not just whether this decision is made in Westminster or in Holyrood, but whether it is made at all.

"Can the cabinet secretary confirm that if the power to make this decision is brought to Holyrood his Government will oppose the action that the UK Government has already indicated it supports for the UK as a whole?"

Mr Swinney said: "In relation to the wider issue, we've set out that there are a whole variety of complex issues that have to be wrestled with, that is why we take an evidence-based and considered approach to the resolution of all of those issues.

"I think that's what people would expect of government and that's what I think is regrettable about the decision of the UK Government to ignore the evidence in response to this consultation, and to proceed to remove the rights of objection for householders, which I think will only fuel unease about these issues rather than address the unease that has been expressed on this point."

The UK Government has said the Scottish Government already has most of the powers needed to make Scottish decisions on the matter.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "If we're serious about reducing our reliance on foreign gas then then the best way to do that is to improve energy efficiency and to fully harness Scotland's huge renewable energy resources.

"And, if we're serious about tackling climate change then at least two-thirds of the world's fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground.

"Scottish ministers should stick to their renewable path and take steps to ensure shale gas and other unconventional fossil fuels remain unburnt."