Shale Exploration

A number of constituents have contacted Henry to discuss shale exploration.

Commenting on the matter Henry said: "I have always taken the view that although fracking could have substantial potential for the UK, unlike the USA we are a small country which is relatively heavily populated. This is why any fracking operations will only be sustainable in this country if there is overwhelming public support for specific projects."

"A consultation has been launched to consider whether the early stages of shale exploration should be treated as permitted development, and in particular the circumstances where this might be appropriate. This would allow early exploratory work to proceed without requiring planning applications, however planning applications would still be required for fracking."
 
"Other measures include strengthening community engagement by consulting on the potential to make pre-application consultations a statutory requirement, and launching a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity in local authorities dealing with shale applications."
 
"A new Planning Brokerage Service for shale applications will also be created, to provide guidance to developers and local authorities on the planning process in order to speed up decision making. Furthermore, to simplify the complex UK regulatory regime for shale gas, a new Shale Environmental Regulator will also be set up, to act as a single coherent face for the public, mineral planning authorities, and industry."
 
"I am confident that these measures will help protect our environment and ensure that the voices of local communities are heard."