The Government is seeking views on whether they should grant permitted development for shale gas exploration.

Their consultation runs until October 25 and, if the proposals go ahead, would mean that exploration wells to drill for core samples would not require planning permission.

Permitted development rights are normally reserved for small scale, low impact development such as changing the use of retail premises, construction of sheds and outbuildings and the installation of solar panels.

To use the right for significant development like a shale gas wellsite has been described by Friends of the Earth as a “perversion of the planning process.”

For instance, the right would extend to the INEOS exploration site at Woodsetts near Rotherham. This site, currently awaiting planning determination, will entail eight months of development work on a 1.2 hectare site with up to 60 HGV movements per day.

In a Written Ministerial Statement in May, the Government also announced plans to consult on deciding on fracking at a national level through the National Infrastructure Planning regime.

NGOs and community groups have joined together to oppose both Government proposals. You can take action to prevent these outrageous proposals being carried out

Take action at