Fylde MP Mark Menzies told local authorities can restrict shale gas site numbers

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has written once again to ministers to ask for protections to be put in place to limit the number of shale gas sites in an area.

Mr Menzies wrote to question the potential density of shale gas sites within close geographical proximity to each another.

He said: “It is my consistent, longstanding view that the Government must ensure shale gas well sites are not permitted to be built within close proximity to other well sites.

“I believe that legislation should be brought forward that sets a clear limit on the number of shale gas sites permitted in areas.

“I have been told that existing planning law could already be applied in order to prevent the proliferation of shale gas sites within areas such as Fylde.  However, there is no provision that expressly deals with this issue and this concerns both me and many of my constituents.”

Minister for Energy and Industry Richard Harrington MP wrote back: “…all onshore oil and gas projects, including shale gas, are subject to scrutiny through the planning system, which addresses impacts on local residents such as traffic movements, noise and working hours.

“Any seperation distance betwen the shale site and other developments can be set by local planning authorities through planning conditions.

“In addition, National Planning Policy is clear that when planning permission is granted for shale gas, the cumulative impact of shale sites must be considered.

“Local authorities therefore have the power to assess and restrict the cumulative effect of shale sites, including any adverse impacts on the natural or historical environment.

“Government’s view is that these protections are sufficient and there should be no arbitrary ‘buffer zone’ enforced between shale sites and residential areas, because what may work for one community may not work for another.”

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