quote
menu

Fracking UK: Amber Rudd vows to fast track shale gas


Shale gas planning applications are to be fast tracked under new government measures in an attempt to crack down on councils that take too long on decisions.

 

In a move that is most likely to face fierce opposition from environmental campaigners and some local communities, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd will write to planning authorities making it clear councils must rule on applications within the current 16-week statuary timeframe. Councils will be warned that if they repeatedly delay, ministers might take over. This would pass the central Government the power to decide all future applications in the local area.

The government says it will take local views into account, but the development of shale gas is a national priority that must be held up. The change comes after industry and government frustration over the slow rate of progress on exploratory fracking for shale gas in Lancashire. A bogged-down planning process resulted 16-month delays and a last-minute surprise rejection.

Changes to the fracking process

This announcement is less of a major change in planning law than a warning to local councils: ministers already have the power to take over the decision on any controversial planning application at any stage.

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: “We can’t have a planning system that sees applications dragged out for months, or even years… We need a system that delivers timely planning decisions and works effectively for local people and developers.”

Ministers have struggled to build public support for fracking with latest government poll on the topic showing opposition is increasing as support continues to fall.

Perhaps with an eye on such concerns, Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities, assured that “communities will always be involved in planning applications but no one benefits from uncertainty caused by delays in planning decisions. By fast tracking any appropriate applications today’s changes will tackle potential hold ups in the system.”

Cheap gas for business?

As noted, the statement doesn’t actually change any rules, instead acting as a statement of intent to get the process working more quickly. However, talk of “revising permitted development rights for drilling boreholes for groundwater monitoring” suggests that more significant changes may be expected.

But will business gas prices fall? Of course, any impact will only be felt over the medium to long term. In the short term, business gas rates can expected to be mostly unchanged, although unrest in Ukraine or a variety of other factors could cause business gas suppliers to hike their prices.

To get an idea of how much you should be paying, we can help you compare business gas suppliers and change to a new deal in just 20 minutes. Just fill in our simple form (also at the top right of this page) or give us a call on 0330 0100 251 now for a no-obligation comparison.

Related Articles

energy-meter-reading-numbers

Business Electricity Meter Types

There is a wide range of electricity meters that your business may have installed, depending on your electrici...

Read More

10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Everybody has their traditions at Christmas. From watching a pantomime starring a questionable celebrity cast,...

Read More

Which country gets the most time off at Christmas?

Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world, just look at our 10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions artic...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Fantastic

"Fantastic! Very happy with the service received Would definitely recommend"

This review was posted by Room 305 on the 06th of December 2017

I've used Switch My Business for a few …

"I've used Switch My Business for a few years because they literally do everything for you with no fuss. Mark Weeks was incredibly helpful, friendly and understood how busy I was. He explained everything simply, clearly and found rates that matched my needs perfectly (needed a 0 fee standing rate gas supply). He prepared all the paperwork so all I had to do was print, sign and scan. Highly recommended!"

This review was posted by Jay Grocott on the 06th of December 2017

Mark Weeks is very informative of the …

"Mark Weeks is very informative of the current market and helped us change our utility provider effortlessly on an attractive contract"

This review was posted by Alex Slee on the 05th of December 2017

EXCELLENT SERVICE

"It was a seamless switch and Mark Weeks was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I will be using SMB again on the next renewal date."

This review was posted by Marc Hesford on the 05th of December 2017

Mark Weeks provided quotations for my …

"Mark Weeks provided quotations for my search for alternative electricity supplier which were competitive though not significantly better than our current supplier. Very useful however."

This review was posted by john barrus on the 05th of December 2017