The government’s public consultation on the principle of changing planning rules to categorise exploratory drilling for shale gas as ‘permitted development’ closes at 11.45pm on Thursday 25th October.

This means if you haven’t yet responded, there’s still time to do so – but not much! It is important that as many people as possible make their views on the consultation known to government in this way.

The official consultation response form is a misleadingly worded minefield, but the government will also accept individual email responses to the consultation. This is what we recommend you do. Write an email to the address below in your own words outlining why you oppose the proposal.

Email your response to: [email protected] before 11.45pm Thursday 25th October.

Here are some examples of some of the kinds of points you might wish to make:
  • The proposals are an erosion of local democracy. Local people’s views are represented through their elected representatives on local authorities planning committees.
  • The current planning process makes sure all aspects of a project’s impact on the local community have been taken into consideration. Councils are currently able to consider whether a project can go ahead at all. Permitted development would mean the project is permitted, and councils will be given only a limited number of factors they can consider, through something called the prior approval process.
  • Councils have to manage the consequences of exploratory drilling, from road congestion, to environmental impacts. They should have a say in whether it goes ahead.
  • It is councils who are best placed to make informed decisions on planning, and to represent communities’ needs and interests.
  • We should be investing in clean energy, not digging up new fossil fuels that will cause climate chaos. Fracking is inconsistent with the government’s legal commitment to tackle climate change. The recent
  • Only 18% of the public support fracking, according to the government’s own attitudes tracker
  • The government’s own cross-Party Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report on fracking and planning guidance agreed that decision making should stay with local authorities.

Good luck everyone, let’s get our skates on and make our voices heard!