HOW MAKING FRACKING PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT WOULD OVERRIDE LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Two days before the royal wedding, the government produced a ministerial statement which aims to make exploratory fracking 'permitted development'. This would mean that fracking well sites for exploratory drilling would be treated as the same as a garden shed or a conservatory by the planning system, and would not require planning permission from local councils.

This is nothing less than an assault on local democracy on an unprecedented scale and would result in local communities left without a voice about whether their countryside should be fracked. Even Kevin Hollinrake, the pro-fracking MP for the Thirsk and Malton constituency, has serious concerns about this plan -and so does everyone else who cares about local democracy.

And it gets worse. The government is also planning to make fracking a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, which would mean that full scale production would also avoid the local planning process and be decided by central government and their friends in the oil and gas industry.

This 'nuclear option' shows that the Conservative government have realised that they are never going to win the argument on fracking, and have given up trying to get 'social licence' for this unwanted, unsafe and unnecessary industry. Rather than put their support behind renewables, they seem intent on forcing fracking on unwilling communities, and at the same time ignoring the huge weight of evidence of the harm this industry causes, and their own climate change commitments. Click on the banner at the top of the page to find out more.

    Fracking, Permitted Development and NSIP – your questions answered

    Click here to find out why the government thinks that an exploratory fracking well pad is the same as a garden shed.

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