UK Government launches controversial new fund to encourage ‘fracking’

The UK Government has just announced a new package of measures, including a new £1.6 million fund, to further support the development of British shale gas.

The package includes:

  • Launching a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications.
  • Streamlining and improving the regulation process for shale applications to ensure decisions are made in a timely way and developers and local authorities are supported through the process. This will include setting up a Shale Environmental Regulator and new Planning Brokerage Service which would focus exclusively on the planning process and will have no role in the consideration or determination of planning applications. The service will not comment on the merits of a case and will also have no role in the appeals process.
  • Holding a consultation on the principle of whether the early stages of shale exploration should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate.
  • Consulting on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

Further information and comment is available on the LocalGov website.