Did you know you were shafted on shale today? “Energy Policy: Written statement. Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) Planning decision making.
“To support a decision-making regime that meets the future needs of the sector we will progress our manifesto commitments by:
• holding an early stage consultation, in summer 2018, on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate.
• consulting, in summer 2018, on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.
“Further, we will strengthen community engagement by consulting in due course on the potential to make pre-application consultation a statutory requirement.
“Support for those involved in decision making. We are aware that the shale applications and the planning process can be complex for local authorities. Building capacity and capability within local authorities to deal with shale development is a vital step towards speeding up decision making. We will help achieve this by announcing, today:
• the launch of a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications.
• the creation of a new planning brokerage service for shale applications to provide guidance to developers and local authorities on the planning process to help facilitate timely decision making. The service would focus exclusively on the planning process and will have no role in the consideration or determination of planning applications. The service will not comment on the merits of a case and will also have no role in the appeals process”.
“The Government continues to commit to identifying underperforming local planning authorities that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within statutory timeframes. When any future applications are made to underperforming authorities, the Secretary of State will consider whether he should determine the application instead”. As stated, shafted on shale!