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Fracking: Let Communities Decide

November 13, 2018 9:51 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

PB and JR frackingCouncillor Jerry Roodhouse is urging residents to sign an open letter opposing 'Permitted Development' for shale gas exploration.

The UK government has proposed changes to planning rules that would allow exploratory drilling for shale gas to be considered "permitted development", removing the need for fracking companies to apply for planning permission.

The current planning framework for shale gas provides an important regulatory process for the industry, offering necessary checks and balances by local authorities who best understand the circumstances in their areas. Crucially, it also allows communities directly affected a say in how, and whether, shale gas exploration proceeds in their neighbourhoods.

Councillor Roodhouse believes that applying permitted development to exploratory shale gas drilling represents a distortion of its intention and is a misuse of the planning system.

He previously worked with Lib Dem MEP for the West Midlands region, Phil Bennion (pictured), in raising concerns with the Energy Secretary over an application for a conditional licence to allow Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) under a swathe of Warwickshire countryside.

Permitted Development was originally intended to be used to speed up planning decisions on small developments - like garden sheds or erecting a fence - not drilling for shale gas.

Sign the open letter if you think this proposal should be withdrawn, and respect for the right of communities to make decisions on shale gas activities in their areas through the local planning system.

https://gofossilfree.org/uk/let-communities-decide-letter/