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Scotland’s Onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas Policy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

I cannot comment on the latter point because it is a planning matter. The appeals remain sisted, but now that we have finalised our policy position on unconventional oil and gas, the planning and environmental appeals division will write to the parties seeking their views on whether any additional or updated evidence will be required before reports are submitted to Scottish ministers. Ministers will then make final decisions on those appeals, in line with the policy set out today.

I hope that that response is helpful to Mr Ruskell. I recognise how unsettling the situation has been for communities. Unfortunately, the nature of the process means that the statutory assessments that we have to undertake take time: they have to be done properly, they have to be research based and they have to be properly evidenced. I hope that he is comfortable with the process that we have gone through.

We have now reached the final policy position, which replaces the moratorium and means that the planning appeals that have been sisted can now proceed through the process.