Planning: Fracking vs Wind

In an article this week Guardian columnist George Monbiot points out the disparity between planning policy applying to fracking sites and wind farms:

“Or compare fracking to wind power. The government is introducing a special veto for local people to prevent the construction of wind turbines. Downing Street explains it as follows: “The prime minister feels that it is very important that local voters are taken into account when it comes to windfarms and that is why new legislation will be brought forward, so that if people don’t want windfarms in their local areas they will be able to stop them.”

Strangely, he does not feel it is important for their views on drilling rigs to be taken into account. The government’s new planning guidance makes these developments almost impossible to refuse. Planners judging fracking applications are forbidden to consider alternatives to oil and gas. There will be “no standard minimum separation distance”, which means that a fracking rig could be erected right next to your house. And they “should give great weight to the benefits of minerals extraction, including to the economy”. If local voters don’t like it, they can go to hell.

Make no mistake, this Government has decided we will have fracking – like it not.