Who’s saying what on government plans to fast-track fracking? – DRILL OR DROP?

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pnr 180724 Ros Wills 8

Cuadrilla’s shale gas drilling rig at Preston New Road, 24 July 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

This post is tracking politician comments and council votes on government proposals to change the planning rules for shale gas developments in England.

A consultation opened in July on the proposals, which, if approved, would make make non-fracking schemes permitted development. This would avoid the need for a planning application. Major production schemes, under the government proposals, would be classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. This would give decision-making to a government minister, bypassing local councils.

The consultation on permitted development rights and Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects ends on 25 October 2018.

We’ll be updating this post regularly. Please let us know about any council votes or comments made by MPs on this issue. You can contact DrillOrDrop here 

Last updated 21/9/2018 


MPs

180912 WestHall Planning debate Kevin Barron

Sir Kevin Barron MP. Westminster Hall Shale Planning debate, 12/9/18. Source: Parliament TV

Sir Kevin Barron, Labour, Rother Valley

Raised concerns about fracking near abandoned coal mines during a Westminster Hall debate on the government’s proposals, 12/9/2018 Link

Speaking at a Frack Free United fringe meeting on the proposals at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool at 12.45pm on 23/9/2018

Ben Bradley, Conservative, Mansfield and Warsop

Told the FT:

“My concern with this permitted development proposals is that residents ….will feel even more dictated to by government”, 18/9/2018 Link

He told The Times:

“Allowing [test drilling] as permitted development potentially could mean they could install that infrastructure at the end of your garden without you being able to have a say. I think it’s wrong”, 20/9/2018 Link

Ronnie Campbell, Labour, Blyth Valley

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 12/9/2018 Link

Jim Cunningham, Labour, Coventry South

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 10/9/2018 Link

Thangam Debbonaire, Labour, Bristol West

Told a constituent she would “oppose the government’s current proposals on this issue at every opportunity”. 18/9/2018

Paul Farrelly, Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 13/9/2018 Link

James Firth, Labour MP for Bury North

Told the Energy Minister, during a Westminster Hall debate, that the proposals struck “at the heart of a community’s ability to determine its future”. He urged the minister to “take seriously the voice of the people on this issue”, 12/9/2018. Link

Yvonne Fovargue, Labour, Makerfield

Quoted in Wigan Today:

“The proposals would ride roughshod over local democracy and put drilling in the same category under planning law as building a small extension to a property. It would remove the important link between fracking applications and local plans and be harmful to the proposals of localism. 26/7/2018 Link

180912 WestHall Planning debate Ruth George

Ruth George MP. Westminster Hall Shale Planning debate, 12/9/18. Source: Parliament TV

Ruth George, Labour, High Peak

Raised concerns about the consultation process on the government proposals during a debate in Westminster Hall, 12/9/2018 Link

Helen Grant, Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald

Wrote on her website:

“Responsibility for planning applications for onshore oil and gas activities, including for the exploration of shale gas, will be solely with local authorities. Fracking is not something that will be imposed by central government and it is right that local decision makers are involved in the process.” 16/8/2018 Link

Mary Glindon, Labour, North Tyneside

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 13/9/2018 Link

John Grogan, Labour, Keighley

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 11/9/2018 Link

Nick Herbert, Conservative, Arundel and South Downs

180912 WestHall Planning debate Nick Herbert

Nick Herbert MP. Westminster Hall Shale Planning debate, 12/9/18. Source: Parliament TV

Told energy minister Claire Perry, during a Westminster Hall debate, that he did not believe the government had a parliamentary majority for its proposals, 12/9/2018 Link

Wrote in the Littlehampton Gazette:

“I don’t think a major process as disruptive as drilling can be classed as permitted development which doesn’t need planning permission, akin to putting up a garden shed.” 20/9/2018 Link

Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem, Bath

Criticised government response to Westminster Hall debate on shale gas planning changes, 12/9/2018

Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative, Thirsk and Malton

Wrote on his website:

“Development of new well-pads and associated infrastructure such as pipelines will not be treated as permitted development” Link

Opposed government proposals during a Westminster Hall debate, calling for clarity on whether the construction of an entire well pad would be covered by the permitted development proposals, 12/9/2018 Link

Mike Hill, Labour, Hartlepool

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 11/9/2018 Link

Kelvin Hopkins, Labour, Luton North

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 12/9/2018 Link

Greg Knight, Conservative,Yorkshire East

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 12/9/2018 Link

Opposed government proposals during a Westminster Hall debate, 12/9/2018 Link

Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton Pavillion

Described the plans as shocking when they were announced. Quoted in the Guardian as saying:

“Britain’s fracking experiment was on life support and now the government is trying its best to shock it back into life”. 12/5/2018 Link

John Mann, Labour, Bassetlaw

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 10/9/2018 Link

Mark Menzies, Conservative, Fylde

Opposed government proposals during a Westminster Hall debate, describing them as “quite frankly bonkers”, 12/9/2018 Link

Jared O’Mara, Independent, Sheffield Hallam

Opposed the proposals and signed an open letter to the energy minister, Claire Perry. He wrote on his website:

“Removing the important step of requiring fracking companies to apply for planning permission to conduct exploratory fracking is misguided. It gives elected representatives and local communities chance to review what they need in their area. This step must be kept.” 12/9/2018 Link

Stephanie Peacock, Labour, Barnsley East

Asked Claire Perry during a Westminster Hall debate on the government proposals why her constituents, from a former mining area, should be asked to take “a huge leap of faith on behalf of fracking companies”, 12/9/2018 Link

Claire Perry, Energy Minister, Conservative, Devizes

Defended the government proposals at a Westminster Hall debate, 12/9/2018 Link

Lee Rowley, Conservative, North East Derbyshire

180912 WestHall Planning debate LeeRowley

Lee Rowley MP. Westminster Hall Shale Planning debate, 12/9/18. Source: Parliament TV

Opened a Westminster Hall debate on the government’s proposed changes and opposed the proposals, 12/9/2018 Link

Told the FT:

“I know how divisive they are and how important the involvement of local residents is. It would be a thoroughly retrograde step for the government to pursue this, given the impact that it will have in rural areas.” 18/9/2018 Link

Announced that All Party Parliamentary Group on Shale Gas Impacts will examine the government’s proposals at its meeting on 22 October 2018.

Martin Sandy, Labour,  Ipswich

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 13/9/2018 Link

Bob Seely, Conservative, Isle of Wight

Opposed government proposals during a Westminster Hall debate, fearing they would set a precedent for other developments, 12/9/2018 Link

Jim Shannon, Democratic Unionist, Strangford

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 11/9/2018 Link

Asked the Energy Minister, during a Westminster Hall debate on the government proposals, for assurances that safety will be paramount, 12/9/2018 Link

Alex Shelbrooke, Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell

Raised concerns during a Westminster Hall debate on the government’s proposals about fracking in former mining areas, 12/9/2018 Link

Dennis Skinner, Labour, Bolsover

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 12/9/2018 Link

Opposed government proposals during a Westminster Hall debate, 12/9/2018 Link

Matt Western, Labour, Warwick and Leamington

Signed House of Commons Early Day Motion opposing changes to planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework, 11/9/2018 Link

Councils

Bath and North East Somerset, Conservative

180913 BNES council vote on shale gas pd motion

Members of Bath and North East Somerset voting to oppose government proposals on permitted development for shale gas schemes. There were three abstentions and no votes against. Photo: council webcast, 13/9/2018

Supported a Labour motion to oppose the government proposals 13/9/2018  Link and

Blackpool Borough, Labour

Unanimously opposed the government proposals, 19/9/2018 Link

Bridgwater Town

Voted to oppose government proposals, 13/9/2018 Link

Bromley Borough, Conservative

Council’s development control committee recommended to oppose government proposals, 11/9/2018 Link

Bury Metropolitan Borough, Labour

Council unanimously supported emergency motion calling for the withdrawal of the proposals, 12/9/2018 Link

Derbyshire County, Conservative

The leader of the council makes a statement against the proposals, 15/8/2018 Link

Conservative councillor, Alex Dale, writing for Conservative Home, explains why he thinks proposed fracking changes “offend Conservative values”, 30/7/2018 Link

Doncaster Borough, Labour

Approved a motion committing not to allow any fracking activities on council-owned or controlled land and regretting that the government “now appear to be determined to force fracking on areas, regardless of local opinion”, 20/9/2018 Link

Edwinstowe Parish

Unanimously opposes the proposals, 11/9/2018 Link

Isle of Wight, Conservative

Approves motion opposing the government proposals, 19/9/2018 Link

180919 Isle of Wight campaigners Frack Free isle of wight

Campaigners outside the Isle of Wight Council, 19 September 2018. Photo: Frack Free Isle of Wight

Lancashire County, Conservative

Votes to oppose the proposals, 19/7/2018 Link

Lincolnshire County, Conservative

The council’s environment and economic scrutiny panel endorses a response opposing the government proposals, Executive member for economy recommends the council oppose the proposals, 18/9/2018 Link

Cllr Colin Davie, executive member for economy, said:

“It would be absolutely ridiculous that this kind of development could be dealt with under permitted development rights.”

Mansfield District, No overall control

Voted 29 against with 1 abstention to oppose the government’s proposals Link

Norton Town Council

Voted 11-1 to oppose government proposals “in the strongest terms”, 18/9/2018

Nottinghamshire County, Conservative / Independent

Council approves unanimously motion to oppose government proposals, 20/9/2018. Cllr Jim Creamer, vice chair of the planning committee, previously said the proposals represented “a blank cheque for frackers”. Link

Otley Town

Policy and Resources Committee voted unanimously to oppose the government proposals, 17/9/2018 Link

Rossendale Borough, Labour

Cllr Christine Lamb, portfolio holder for regulatory services said:

“As a council, we believe that it should be up to local communities to decide whether nor not to allow fracking to take place in their areas”. 24/8/2018 Link

Rotherham Borough, Labour

Cllr Amy Brookes, writing on her website, opposes the proposals:

“I am very much against this and would seek for government to withdraw this proposal on the grounds that it is a misuse of the planning system and is not comparable activity  to the small developments – like  minor extensions, garden sheds or erecting a fence – that are normally considered under permitted development.” 8/8/2018 Link

Ryedale District, No overall control

Rejects government proposals 6/9/2018 Link

Sefton Metropolitan Borough

Approved a motion opposing the government’s proposals, 20/9/2018 Link

York City, Conservative/Lib Dem

Conservative councillors reject the case for permitted development for non-fracking schemes 13/9/2018 Link

Lib Dem councillors oppose the government proposals and start a petition 3/8/2018 Link

Campaign groups

Change.org

1,537 signatures on a petition, 20/9/2018 Link

CPRE

11,463 letters written to council leaders opposing the proposals 20/9/2018 Link

181,902 signatures on petition with 38 Degrees against the proposals 20/9/2018 Link

Friends of the Earth

36,354 signatures on petition opposing the proposals 20/9/2018 Link

SumOfUs

32,191 signatures on petition opposing proposals 20/9/2018 Link

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