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Scilly Councillor signs anti-fracking letter


Councillor Jonathan Smith has joined 805 Members who have signed an open letter opposing Government proposals to allow fracking companies to undertake exploratory drilling without local planning applications.

The Government is proposing that exploratory drilling for shale gas should be granted planning permission through a 'permitted development' right. This right means fracking companies don’t need to apply for planning permission from the local authority.

Permitted development is a category of planning originally designed to facilitate minor structural changes to homes such as extensions and putting up sheds.

Cllr Smith, who represents St Martin's, said: “Not only are the Government’s plans an affront to democracy on a local and national basis, they are also extremely short sighted. There is simply no way we can make out international, legally-binding climate change commitments by following the fracking route. It’s entirely incompatible, we need a massive upscaling of renewable energy, as well as a reduction in energy use, not more fossil fuel production.”

The Government consultation closed on October 25th and has prompted hundreds of Councillors to express concern.

The letter - sent to James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - has also been signed by MPs, Parish Councillors and London Assembly Members.

Some 40 Councils have also formally opposed the Government's plans, including the Conservative controlled Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Kent County Councils. More than 20 Conservative MPs have threatened to rebel against the Government over the proposals.

Read the open letter here.

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