Shale gas development

As the local Minerals Planning Authority, Nottinghamshire County Council is responsible for deciding planning applications that involve shale gas extraction, using hydraulic fracturing, more widely known as ‘fracking’.

This section provides an overview of the planning process and information about shale gas exploration.

The information is relevant for any shale gas application in Nottinghamshire.

National and local planning frameworks

With the future of the UK’s energy supplies becoming increasingly important as existing offshore reserves decline, the National Planning Policy Framework expects Minerals Planning Authorities to provide for the extraction of mineral reserves of national importance.

All decisions about the extraction of minerals are considered against national and local planning guidelines.

National guidelines are set out in the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and the Planning Practice Guidance.

These guidelines are interpreted locally in the ‘adopted’ Minerals Local Plan, written and prepared by the County Council, as the local Minerals Planning Authority. The ‘adopted’ Minerals Local Plan is under review to create a new, up-to-date document, covering the period up to 2030. This document is known as the ‘emerging’ Minerals Local Plan.

The ‘emerging’ Minerals Local Plan includes a policy on hydrocarbon minerals, including unconventional hydrocarbons such as shale gas. The policy requires any application for shale gas development to be considered against a wide range of issues including:

  • the existing land use
  • transport and access routes to get to the site
  • wildlife and flora including any important habitats/protected species that might be disturbed
  • impact on water resources and potential flood risks.

Useful information

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