POS has welcomed the new DCLG technical guidance for planning authorities on deciding applications for the exploration and extraction of shale gas; but Society Spokesperson John Silvester, commented that "it is extremely disappointing that there is no consultation on the new guidance."
POS had been involved in commenting on early draft suggestions by DCLG but would have welcomed the opportunity of providing expert practical advice on the final wording.
- Planning applications for exploration of shale gas should not take account of hypothetical future activities since they will be the subject of separate planning applications and assessments
- When assessing planning applications for actual production of shale gas, the fact that exploratory drilling has taken place on the same site should only be a material consideration in that it establishes the presence of hydrocarbon resources.
- Planning authorities should not consider demand for, or alternatives to, oil and gas when determining applications as government policy is clear that energy supplies should come from a variety of sources.
- Planning authorities should give great weight to the benefits of minerals extraction, including to the economy.