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Civic chiefs back Hampshire landowners in fracking row
9:05am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Winchester
HAMPSHIRE civic chiefs are backing local landowners in an ongoing debate on 'fracking'.
The Government has been reviewing the planning process for oil and gas-related extraction, including shale gas, and is considering amending the rules so applicants do not have to notify landowners of proposals for underground work.
A Whitehall report says it is “unreasonable and impractical” to do so because exact drilling routes are unpredictable and could lead to a very wide area involving several landowners.
But the county council want the status quo to remain because of environmental questions over fracking.
The official response said: “Hampshire County Council considers it important that all landowners in Hampshire are informed about, and provided with the opportunity to engage in, all relevant aspects of proposed oil and gas developments which affect their land.
“It is recognised that, in terms of unconventional oil and gas extraction, this is likely to entail contacting a large number of landowners. However, due to the significant public interest in this matter and the potential for unforeseen environmental consequences to arise from the shale gas extraction process, we believe this is justified.”
Applicants would still be expected to give notice to landowners for any overground work. They would also be required to publish notice of any drilling in a newspaper and a site display through parishes or a local authority.
The response was approved by Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, at a decision day yesterday (Oct 7).
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