Urgent Action – Proposed dilution of planning law

The government is proposing changes to existing planning regulations which would mean that the requirement to alert property owners, at the planning application stage, when their property may be undermined by hydraulic fracturing operations would disappear.

You can find details of the proposals by following this link

A template for an objection letter is provided below, but it is always best if you can remodel it slightly before sending

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing to point out that your proposal to “amend the notice requirements for applications for planning permission for under ground oil and gas operation” by removing the notice requirement “for owners of land beyond this area ie the owners of land where solely underground operations may take place. ” is at odds with the law.

You will I trust be aware that any drilling under an individual’s property without consent constitutes trespass. The relevant case law can be found in “Bocardo Ltd v Star Energy Weald Basin Ltd”. I fail to see how that consent can be gained unless the applicant is made to make the interested party aware of the intention to drill. By removing this requirement you would effectively be abetting trespass.

Equally, it is essential for local communities know with reasonable accuracy where drilling takes place in order to monitor and measure impacts. Whilst having to be precise about their plans maybe slightly onerous for the drilling companies that is really no reason to propose the relaxation of necessary legislation / regulation.

Name : Adress : Date:

The opportunity to comment on these proposals is aimed primarily at developers and local authorities because of the technical content, but will have wider interest.

This paper was published on Monday 2 September 2013. We would welcome your views by Friday 14 October 2013.

Please send your views by e-mail to oil.gas@communities.gsi.gov.uk, or on survey monkey at:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TYN2ZJQ

Alternatively, paper communications should be sent to:

Planning Infrastructure and Environment Division
Department for Communities and Local Government
1/J6, Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU

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