The U.K. government released new measures Thursday, to help significantly cut waiting periods for shale projects while allowing for intervention in applications if necessary.
"Shale gas planning applications will be fast-tracked through a new, dedicated planning process,” the government announced.
Amber Rudd, the energy and climate change secretary and Greg Clark, the communities secretary, revealed plans ensuring that local people, which will potentially be affected by a project in their area, will be given greater access to detailed information on a project while also "benefiting from a swift process for developing safe and suitable new sites."
Communities with shale gas developments should share in the financial returns generated, the government said.
With this in mind, the government announced their intention to present proposals later in the year on the design of a new sovereign wealth fund.
“To ensure we get this industry up and running we can’t have a planning system that sees applications dragged out for months, or even years on end," Rudd said.
The measures also give the communities secretary the potential to step-in if councils that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within the 16-week timeframe, are identified.
“No one benefits from uncertainty caused by delays in planning decisions," Clark said and added, "by fast-tracking any appropriate applications, today’s changes will tackle potential hold ups in the system.”
By Zeynep Beyza Karabay