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Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Mark Hendrick Mark Hendrick Opposition Assistant Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities regarding permissions and agreements with regard to the decommissioning of fracking sites.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Schedule 5 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 gives minerals planning authorities the power to impose planning conditions on mineral operators to provide for site restoration and aftercare with their application for minerals extraction (including shale gas). This is to ensure clearance of equipment and for proper restoration of the site once operations have ceased. For sites that are to be returned to agriculture, forestry or amenity purposes, there is an obligation on the mineral operator to look after the site for a maximum period of five years once restoration has been completed. Planned restoration for other uses may require a separate planning permission.

The Government will consider the need for additional guidance as part of Lord Taylor of Goss Moor's review of existing planning practice guidance.

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