Planning process for shale gas development

The Minerals Planning Authority - Nottinghamshire County Council

Securing planning permission from the Minerals Planning Authority - the relevant local county council in two tier areas of local government - is required. Nottinghamshire County Council is a Minerals Planning Authority.

The focus of the planning system is on whether the development is an acceptable use of land when judged against national and local planning policy. National policy and guidance is 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 2036. Further details can be found on the new Minerals Local Plan page of the council's website.

The application will be assessed against a range of considerations to check if the application is appropriate including:

  • Land allocation in the relevant development plan, for example for industry, housing etc
  • Lighting, dust and noise
  • Operating hours of the site
  • Transport and routes to get to the site
  • Heritage features and archaeology
  • Wildlife and flora including any important habitats/protected species that might be disturbed
  • Impact on water resources and potential flood risks
  • Site restoration and aftercare once the works have been completed

The control of drilling processes, health and safety issues including the effect on human health and site emissions are subject to approval from other regulators including the OGA, the EA and the HSE. The County Council must proceed with the determination of the planning application on the basis that these other organisations will operate effectively.

The County Council is not required to delay a planning decision about shale gas exploration until the licences from other regulatory bodies have been provided. 

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