Bids invited for shale gas exploration
The Government has opened the bidding process for companies seeking licences to explore for shale gas.
The licences won’t give absolute agreement to drill beyond the exploratory stage, as any further drilling will require planning permission plus permits from the Environment Agency and a sign-off from the Health and Safety Executive.
In addition, some specific planning guidance has been prepared for:
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
- World Heritage Sites;
- National Parks; and
- The Broads
The Department of Energy & Climate Change will require detailed Statements of Environmental Awareness to be submitted with licence applications to these areas, to demonstrate applicants’ understanding of the environmental sensitivities relevant to the area proposed.