We the undersigned call upon the Minister for Natural Resources to amend the THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (NOTIFICATION) (UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS) (WALES) DIRECTION 2015 to call in all Planning Applications for Unconventional Oil and Gas development including exploratory drilling for Shale Gas, Coal Bed Methane and Underground Coal Gasification, to the Minister.
At present the Direction only relates to applications involving certain unconventional extraction techniques where the Local Planning Authority is inclined to approve the application.
The current Direction does not apply to Underground Coal Gasification, the impacts of which would be equally damaging to the environment and communities. Nor does it apply to exploratory drilling or test drilling. There are growing concerns about the impact of exploratory drilling, particularly around noise, traffic, disturbance of water courses, the potential for seismic disturbance, industrialisation of the countryside and the impact on house prices.
If there is an effective moratorium on extraction, then what is the purpose of exploration? Allowing exploration to proceed when, at present, extraction will be prohibited is perverse and illogical.