We received some amazing news last Friday. It was previously feared that the government’s newly passed Growth and Infrastructures Bill would create a backdoor for unconventional gas companies to bypass the local planning permission. This would mean that despite objections from local residents, fracking, coal bed methane or underground coal gasification projects only have to receive ministerial permission to go ahead.
But after a government consultation it was determined that,
“applications for planning permission for onshore oil and gas schemes, including any future planning proposals for shale gas development, should not be included in the new business and commercial category but will keep this under review…Applications for planning permission for onshore oil and gas should therefore normally remain with minerals planning authorities for determination.”
This is fantastic news especially in places like Balcombe where over 80% of the residents are against unconventional gas and oil extraction. It’s also bad news for Cuadrilla who will have a very difficult time obtaining any more drilling licenses after their current one expires in September.
Special thanks to Refracktion for reporting on this first.