To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to help ensure the (a) interests and (b) safety of local communities is fully considered in decisions on planning for shale gas fracking; and if he will make a statement.
The Government is firmly committed to ensuring that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them. Planning applications for shale development proposals require consultation with local communities, ensuring that planning concerns about potential impacts raised by local people are taken into account in the determination of such applications.
The Government takes the safety of the public and environmental protection very seriously and are confident we have a robust regulatory framework in place. We have been clear that shale gas exploration development must be safe and environmentally sound. The UK has world-class regulation to ensure that shale gas exploration can happen safely, respecting local communities and safeguarding the environment. National planning policy makes clear that in considering planning applications, mineral planning authorities should ensure that there are no unacceptable adverse impacts on the natural and historic environment or on human health.