Press release: Government launches consultation on community involvement in shale gas proposals


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Shale gas developers could be required to consult local communities, even before submitting a planning application, following the launch of the latest government consultation seeking to further reform shale industry practice in England.

Launched today (31 October 2018), the consultation seeks the views on whether to:

  • require developers to publish relevant information
  • open a meaningful dialogue with communities and stakeholders
  • listen to residents and take account of what they say

Developers would then be able to address concerns where possible before submitting final proposals to local authorities.

Early engagement with communities at the pre-application stage would give local people an earlier say on proposals, whilst making developers aware of issues of importance to the community that may need to be resolved through working with the relevant local authority.

It’s part of the government’s commitment to speed up decision making, as it’s recognised that no one benefits from unnecessary delays when determining planning applications.

Those with an interest have until Monday 7 January 2019 to respond.

Today’s announcement follows the consultation on re-designating exploratory drilling as permitted development. This closed on Thursday 25 October and a response is currently being considered.

Further information

View the consultation documentation.

The new planning rulebook and existing guidance makes it clear that early engagement has potential to improve the effectiveness of the system for all those involved. However, the proposed reforms out for consultation seek to take it a step further by making it a formal requirement before submitting an application.

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