Permitted Development and Shale Gas Exploration

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde 3:41 pm, 28th March 2019

That is why I called the Westminster Hall debate last year and why I am on my feet today. It is absolutely critical that permitted development, which has a place in our planning system, is for, say, a small extension to a bungalow or a conservatory, not for an enormous industrial estate that will produce tens of thousands of tonnes of pollutants, have thousands of vehicle movements per year, and so on.

I thank the Minister and the Department for listening to the case that I and local people put with regard to the Roseacre Wood site in my constituency. That was a long-running case that had gone through a number of stages in the planning process, including two planning inquiries. We made the case that the site was unsuitable, primarily because it was up country lanes, and regardless of how we tried to cut it, the traffic management plan simply did not work. I am not sure where traffic management plans fit in under permitted development. A fundamental reason why a site was turned down would not be a consideration under permitted development. If the Minister is looking for a reason why this proposal does not stack up, he should refer to Roseacre Wood and the decision tree that kicked in. It was turned down on those grounds, and therefore the Government simply cannot proceed with the permitted development proposals.