A new package of measures to deliver on the government’s manifesto pledge to continue supporting the development of British shale gas was announced today (Thursday 17 May) as part of the modern Industrial Strategy, by Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire.
The package includes:
- Streamlining and improving the regulation process for shale applications to ensure decisions are made in a timely way and developers and local authorities are supported through the process. This will include setting up a Shale Environmental Regulator and new Planning Brokerage Service which 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.
- Launching a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next 2 years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications
- Holding a consultation on the principle of whether the early stages of shale exploration should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate
- Consulting on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said:
British shale gas has the potential to help lower bills and increase the security of the UK’s energy supply while creating high quality jobs in a cutting-edge sector. This package of measures delivers on our manifesto promise to support shale and it will ensure exploration happens in the most environmentally responsible way while making it easier for companies and local communities to work together.