In this week’s Fracking Week in Westminster: the government says community involvement in fracking planning applications remains paramount.
With thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts
House of Commons question on shale gas planning
17th Feb 2016
Question by David Crausby, Labour, Bolton North East
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what his policy is on removing from local authorities powers to veto planning applications for fracking.
Reply by James Wharton, Local Government Minister
Mineral planning authorities have a responsibility to consider planning applications for shale gas exploration under the Town and Country Planning regime. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan for the local authority area, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The Government has taken steps to ensure this locally led regime is effective, as set out in Written Ministerial Statements of 16 September, HCWS201 and HCWS202. This includes making available £1.2 million to ensure mineral planning authorities have adequate resource to reach timely decisions.
Community involvement in planning applications and people’s safety and the environment will remain paramount. No decision has been made to take shale gas exploration out of this local authority led process.