Mark Menzies’ response to shale gas site “call-in” decision

FYLDE MP Mark Menzies today issued a response to media questions over the decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to “call-in” the final decision over planning appeals for shale gas exploration sites at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, and Roseacre Wood.

Below is the statement in full:

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “The fact that this major planning application has been called in by the Secretary of State is a well-established process for such important developments.

“While I am sure there will be claims that this is some kind of Government conspiracy, it is actually more democratic in that the decision will be taken by an elected representative of the UK Government, rather than an unelected civil servant with no democratic oversight.

“I know in the past there have been major planning appeals, such as the Queensway development in St Annes and the travellers’ site application in Newton, where residents have successfully campaigned for the Secretary of State to call in decisions to ensure the proper level of oversight.

“The process is well-established in that the full public inquiry will still be carried out by the inspector, a report and recommendation made before a final decision by the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, meaning there will be that additional level of oversight on these crucially important matters.

“I will be speaking to the Secretary of State about these applications and will impress upon him my belief that the decision made by the local council should be adhered to.”

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