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24/07/2014

Sargeant clarifies Mineral Planning Policy Wales

Words: Sam Waddicor

Carl Sargeant, the Welsh minister for housing and regeneration, has published a clarification letter that effectively sets out the policy for onshore fracking applications in Wales

The letter clarifies how the Mineral Planning Policy Wales (MPPW) works in practice and how it can be applied by local planning authorities.

It starts by outlining the various different stages onshore gas and oil extraction proposals can take. The letter mentions a Regulatory Roadmap (PDF) that has been developed in conjunction with the Office for Unconventional Gas and Oil. Sargeant says it identifies all the regulatory processes that need to be satisfied before drilling can begin.

A key part of the MPPW is that the planning system should not conflict with or attempt to duplicate the controls better regulated by other bodies. The letter goes on to explain which government departments have jurisdiction over what issues in the drilling process. For example, any seismic risk comes under the remit of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), whereas the venting or flaring of any gas is subject to DECC controls but regulated by Natural Resources Wales.

 

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