Planning Appeals “Called In”
The Secretary of State (Greg Clark) is to call in Cuadrilla’s two fracking appeals in Lancashire. The Planning Inspector will still produce a report but the decision will be made at Westminster. The reason given is that the drilling appeals (3134385 and 3134386) involve proposals for exploring and developing shale gas which amount to proposals for development of major importance having more than local significance and proposals which raise important or novel issues of development control, and/or legal difficulties.
Clearly this decision is a U-turn on the government’s promises around localism and we await our MP , Mark Menzies’, reaction with great interest
He is on record as stating that these decisions should be taken locally. He says this very clearly here
Mr Menzies added: “As someone who believes strongly in localism, it is vital that these decisions are taken by the council planning authority, whose members are well aware of all the local issues involved.
“I have made it very clear in the House of Commons that under no circumstances should anyone seek to overturn the wishes of local people at a national level.
“If, after weighing up all the evidence, the planning authority decides to refuse permission then that decision should be respected and the companies should be told to go away and think again.”
Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “The Minister’s correspondence was in response to my letter to the Secretary of State where I outlined my concerns over these appeals.
“As someone who is a strong supporter of localism I believe the council’s original decisions over these sites should be upheld and I wanted to put my view on record to be considered as part of the appeals process.
“I have said all along that these decisions should be made at a local level and I stand by that.”
If Mr Menzies wishes to remain credible then now is the time for him to show us what he is made of.
Over to you Mr Menzies. We are watching with interest!