Shale Gas Development

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:18 pm on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 5:18 pm, 31st October 2018

No, because I want to leave time at the end for my hon. Friend the Member for Fylde.

It is clear from my hon. Friend’s speech that the recent consultations are important and have excited a strong reaction from his constituents, from him and from other hon. Members. I emphasise that no decision has been made whether to bring the proposals forward. The consultations have now closed: the Government are considering the representations made and will issue a response in due course.

The consultations are part of a range of measures to make planning decisions faster and fairer for all those affected by new shale gas development and ensure that local communities are fully involved in the planning decisions that affect them. Hon. Members will know that the Secretary of State has a quasi-judicial role in the planning system, so they will understand that it would not be appropriate for me to comment today on the detail of individual planning applications, on decisions on those applications, or on local plans. Hon. Members will also know that my remit as Housing Minister in relation to shale gas development is focused on planning policy and on delivering related manifesto commitments. However, given that many matters have been raised that are beyond my remit, I undertake to refer them to the appropriate Ministers, not least the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth.