Today I attended a Westminster Hall debate to discuss the Government’s proposed weakening of planning rules with regards to shale gas extraction. I was pleased to be able to make the following intervention: "I went out to rural Pennsylvania in 2015 to look at this particular issue. I came back with the distinct impression that this can be done in a way that is sensitive to the countryside but it needs careful planning. North Yorkshire County Council developed that plan, which restricts proliferation and density. My concern here with NSIP and permitted development is that you will ride a coach and horses through those restrictions and we do need to restrict development for shale as it is rolled out."
My views and concerns on this are well documented. My contribution to the consultation on permitted development for shale gas exploration and the inclusion of shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime can be found here:
My position hasn't changed and I will continue to press the point with Ministers and in the House at every opportunity.