In a joint statement dated August 13, 2015, UK Secretaries of State for Energy and Climate Change and for Communities and Local Government announced new planning guidance for developing shale gas resources. The UK government confirmed that local communities will remain fully involved in the decision-making process; however, it declared “we cannot be complacent.”
Concerning shale gas planning applications, the Government has imposed upon local planning authorities a requirement to decide planning applications subject to Environmental Impact Assessment within a statutory frame time of 16 weeks. After these times the Government may intervene in this process.
In addition, the Government emphasized that appeals against any refusals of planning permission for shale gas exploration and extraction will be “treated as a priority for urgent resolution.” It also retains the right to thoroughly examine the appeal process and will conduct performance analysis of planning authorities.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow