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Fracking

Permitted development for shale gas exploration

CPRE responded to the Government consultation on permitted development for shale gas exploration. Classifying shale gas exploration as 'permtited development' would remove the need for full planning permission, effectively removing local council's decision-making powers. Permitted development is intended for developments that can guarantee no unreasonable impact on the locality - like erecting a conservatory, not drilling for shale gas. 

We argued strongly that this proposal would reduce local decision-making and communities' involvement in these decisions, and represents a distortion of the planning system.

The consultation response outlines why we think local authorities should retain decision-making powers on exploratory fracking.

We also supported the response to the consultation from Wildlife and Countryside Link. 

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Inclusion of shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project Regime

CPRE responded to the Government consultation on the inclusion of shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime. This would mean fracking proposals would go through a national planning process, rather than be decided by local authorities.

We argued strongly that this would reduce local decision-making and communities' involvement in these decisions.

The consultation response outlines our concerns with this proposal, which are, at a top level:

  • It would deprive local authorities of direct decision-making on fracking development in their areas;
  • It does not offer anything like ‘full involvement’ of communities in decision-making;
  • Shale gas production does not fit within the NSIP planning process
  • It is unlikely to hasten the decision making process

We also supported the response to the consultation from Wildlife and Countryside Link. 

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CPRE briefing: Response to Written Ministerial Statement on Fracking (May 2018)

In May 2018 the government released a Written Ministerial Statement with worrying proposals that would effectively fast track fracking proposals, make it easier to gain permission for exploration and curtail the power of local authorities to oppose applications through the planning system - sidestepping local opinion in favour of making decisions nationally. It plans to consult on these proposals over summer 2018 with an expectation that new measures would be announced later in the year.

CPRE is campaigning for the government to drop these new proposals and to halt fracking until a series of environmental criteria have been met.

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