County Hall says Norfolk fracking decisions must rest with them

PUBLISHED: 12:37 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:40 12 October 2018

Liberal Democrat Tim East is calling for control over Norfolk's fracking decisions

Liberal Democrat Tim East is calling for control over Norfolk's fracking decisions

Archant © 2014

County councillors are to tell the government they want control over any fracking in Norfolk to rest with them, not with Whitehall.

The government has been consulting over plans which would fast-track decisions over exploratory drilling and extraction of shale gas.

Hydraulic fracking involves drilling into the ground before pumping in a mixture of water and chemicals at high pressures to break rocks and release the shale gas trapped inside.

But the process has come under fire from communities and environmental campaigners across England amid fears that it could lead to the contamination of ground water or spark seismic tremors.

But the government sees potential for the process to create new jobs and secure the UK’s future energy supply.

They are consulting over allowing exploratory drilling under permitted development, which would mean companies would not need to secure planning permission before starting those tests.

They would still need to get permission for the fracking itself.

But, the government is also looking at putting shale gas development on its list of nationally-significant infrastructure projects.

That would see applications go straight to the government, with councils not having a final say on the granting of permission.

And members of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee today agreed to tell the government they want control to stay with them.

Liberal Democrat Tim East said: “It’s important that we retain control, particularly over contentious and controversial issues, such as fracking.

“What this government is proposing is permitted development rights and want to take us out of the loop.

“I think it’s absolutely important for local democracy that we have the say and not central government.”

The council had convened a working group to look into where fracking might happen in Norfolk - which concluded only a small area in the west might potentially yield applications.

Independent councillor Mick Castle said: “We need to remember that Norfolk is not a site for shale gas extraction.”

But he added it was already happening “big time in the North Sea”.

Other popular content

A couple who saw years of family photos go up in flames after a fire claimed a large part of their house said their “Christmas is gone”.


Fire crews and police were called to a residential property fire in south Norfolk in the early hours of the morning.

Thu, 14:45

A landowner has called for urgent safety improvements on a rural country lane after seeing four cars crash off the road into his field this year.

Drivers are being forced to pay a “stealth tax”, it has been claimed, after it was revealed car owners in Norwich paid £74 on average last year to park their cars.

Most Read

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 1°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Diss Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out