“We are clear that it should be up to local communities to decide whether or not to host fracking operations in their areas."
Responding to proposed changes to planning rules for shale developments set out today in a written ministerial statement on energy policy, Cllr Judith Blake, Local Government Association Environment spokesperson, said:
“It is good that the Government will provide additional funding and support to help councils deal with shale applications. However we oppose any proposal for shale exploration to be allowed to bypass the locally democratic planning system through permitted development or national planning inspectors.
“We are clear that it should be up to local communities to decide whether or not to host fracking operations in their areas.
“People living near fracking sites - who are most affected by them - have a right to be heard. Local planning procedure exists for a reason, to ensure a thorough and detailed consultation with those communities.
“Planners also protect local environments and ensure appropriate and affordable homes are delivered for our communities. That’s why ultimately, council planners should be able to set fees that reflect the needs of their local area.”