Mark Menzies MP calls on Government to listen to locals on shale gas planning

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called on the Government to ensure local voices are heard in the planning process for shale gas sites.
Mr Menzies spoke in a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament regarding proposals to make aspects of shale gas planning applications 'permitted development' - ie easier to be approved.
The debate was called by Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley.
During the debate, Mr Menzies said: "I have had five sites in my constituency, two now, one being developed and one in front of a planning inspector.
"Would my honourable friend agree with me - if you were to go down the permitted development route, the concerns that have been raised by residents around traffic planning at the Roseacre Wood site, which would in all probability kill that site as a suitable site, would not be considered.
"The proposals the Government have put before us quite frankly are bonkers."
Later in the debate, Mr Menzies called on the Government to ensure its planning policy included input from those living near potential sites.
He said: "The honourable lady is quite right to highlight some of the progress that has been made such as the traffic light warning system. What I would urge her to do is listen to the concerns of members around permitted development and the planning changes, and for the Government to work with us in a supportive way in order to address these concerns as it has done in the past."
Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Claire Perry replied: "I thank my honourable friend for his very measured approach. As someone who is working very closely with his local communities he is absolutely right. That is why we launched this extended consultation."
Mr Menzies has already written in to the consultation asking for local input to be retained in shale gas-related planning applications, and has always advocated for locally-made decisions not to be overturned by Government.