Why Derbyshire County council is defying the Government on shale gas exploration

One of the sites in Derbyshire is Marsh Lane, Eckington.
One of the sites in Derbyshire is Marsh Lane, Eckington.

Leaders at Derbyshire County Council are defying the Government on how decisions are made on the exploration and production of shale gas.

The Government is currently consulting on two changes to the planning system. One is to make decisions on shale gas exploration under what is known as permitted development rights. This is when planning permission is granted without the developer having to submit an application for planning permission.

The other is that decisions on shale gas production are taken out of the hands of local councils and made nationally.

Councillor Simon Spencer said: “We are against both of these proposals from the Government. We cannot see how you could just let through a proposal to explore for shale gas. There are many things to consider when looking at an application to do this and we know from recent experience that there is considerable local anxiety about these types of operations.” He said a full response will be made soon.