Wirral MP opposes government fracking plans

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23 Oct 2018
Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood has written to government ministers to oppose plans to make changes to planning rules which would support the development of shale gas extraction.

The government is proposing to treat non-fracking drilling as 'permitted development' which is traditionally a system designed to deal with minor building works such as putting up sheds, garden fences, house extensions and phone kiosks. It would remove the current requirement on fracking companies to apply for planning permission when drilling or sampling a well, which is often the first step towards fracking.

Another government proposal is to include shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Regime, which would mean final planning permission for shale production projects would be taken away from local authorities and given to central government. 

Margaret Greenwood MP, who led the successful campaign against drilling for coal gas in the Dee estuary, said:

“I am extremely concerned about the government’s proposals.

“They should be boosting renewable energy projects, not encouraging the use of fossil fuels by making the planning process easier for their development.

"I am also concerned that the Government is looking to make changes to the planning system that will undermine local decision-making. We should give planning authorities greater powers to put people and communities at the heart of planning.

"I will oppose the Government's current proposals on this issue at every opportunity. The Government should be banning fracking, not promoting it."

There are currently two ongoing government consultations on the above issues which can be accessed via the following links:

https://tinyurl.com/yaltpbul

https://tinyurl.com/yc9g4nb8

Both run until 23:45 on 25 October.

Margaret Greenwood added:

“I would urge anyone who would like to contribute to these consultations to do so before the deadline.”

It is Labour policy to ban fracking altogether.

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