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DCLG requests councils to share fracking planning permission information

Words: Laura Edgar
Fracking / iStock_000048578888

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has requested that mineral planning authorities share certain information with energy secretary Amber Rudd when granting planning permission to fracking applications.

Written by DCLG director of planning Ruth Stainer to chief planning authorties, the letter (pdf) states that the sharing of information is to “support the implementation of the provisions in the Infrastructure Act 2015”.

Additionally, the request also aims to support decision-making under the Petroleum Licensing regime.

Mineral planning authorities have been asked to provide information when it grants planning permission “in respect of any development that involves ‘associated hydraulic fracturing’” or if the application is not clear, involves the “boring for, or getting of oil and natural gas from shale”.

Stainer says in the letter authorities should “clearly and unambiguously” set out whether “environmental information has been taken into account when making a decision on an application. She also said authorities should set out whether the area “does not include any land within a National Park, the Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a World Heritage Site”.

“The DCLG secretary of state anticipates that mineral planning authorities will be pro-active in providing the information identified in this letter, where relevant. He requests that it is provided headed ‘Section 4A Petroleum Act 1998 Notice’ and sent to the Department of Energy and Climate Change secretary of state, copied to the applicant,” the letter explains.

This letter to chief planning officers follows the reportedly leaked letter to anti-fracking campaigners last week. In it, ministers discussed bringing fracking applications under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime. 

Stainer’s letter can be read in full here (pdf).

Energy firm Cuadrilla has today (9 February) begun it’s appeal against the refusal to allow fracking at two sites in Lancashire.

Lancashire County Council’s development control committee refused the application to begin shale gas exploration at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood, in June last year.

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