A landmark government ruling has approved plans for horizontal drilling for onshore shale gas to take place in the UK. The legal bill for the County Council has been reported in excess of £300,000 with councillors critical of the government decision to uphold the industry appeal, saying it over-ruled local democracy, having previously refused permission for extraction.
Trillions of cubic feet of shale gas are thought to be recoverable beneath parts of the UK and more than 200 onshore exploration licences have been awarded. What do councils need to have in place to meet this potential demand and how they can work with all stakeholders to endure the best decisions are reached for their communities? While local authorities need to adhere to central government’s decision to produce more energy in the UK their actions are being impatiently monitored by community groups and legal teams. The importance of planning permissions and outcomes has increased pressure that all considerations are fully investigated – whether it be environmentally, legally, economically or politically.
Supporters of onshore shale gas argue that industry activity will bring energy security, jobs and cash for the economy. Opponents fear fracking may cause earth tremors and pollution for mainly rural areas of the UK. How can all stakeholders be actively engaged from the start of an application process through to the practicalities of an active site? What can academics and community groups do to enhance the work that is taking place surrounding peripheral issues such as cleaning fracking water, noise pollution, traffic management and future legal disputes?
UK Onshore Oil and Gas: Policy, Planning and Future Developments has been designed to give help, guidance and support to the public sector to ensure delegates attending have the right and most accurate information on onshore oil and gas and environmental planning. The conference will be looking future projects that are due to commence in the next 12 months along with exploring how to minimise environmental impacts, such as the treatment of waste water from drilling operations, noise pollution and traffic management, to local communicates.