**URGENT! Please lobby your MP to attend 31st October debate

You may be aware that the Government is consulting on granting Permitted Development Rights (PDR) for exploratory drilling and inclusion of shale gas production under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime (NSIP). The NFU has put in objections to these proposals as, amongst other reasons,  it “…disagrees with the government proposals to take shale gas production out of the hands of local planning decision making”.

If fracking were to become part of the NSIPs, it could strengthen the compulsory purchase powers of the shale gas (fracking) industry which would impact the rights of farmers and landowners.  There is due to be a debate in Westminster and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) is urging people to contact their MPs to attend the debate, which is taking place at 4.30pm on 31st October.

Farmers and landowners may wish to contact their MPs to ask them to attend – which can be done using this link: https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/32602/action/1?locale=en-GB –  and follow this situation closely.

Update on INEOS v National Trust at Clumber Park

The spire of the Gothic chapel, seen in the distance, over the serpentine lake at Clumber Park Credit: National Trust Images/David Noton

“Drill or Drop” reports on the tenant farmer who has joined the National Trust in its challenge to the shale gas company, INEOS, in a court case over land access. The National Trust claims it is acting within its founding principle of protecting the beautiful places in its care and, given the impact of climate change, has no wish for any of its land to be used for gas  or oil extraction. INEOS said Government licences give the company a legal obligation to investigate shale gas deposits in areas around the country, including Clumber Park.

The unnamed tenant farmer was joining the case in opposing access to INEOS. Another 30 tenants of the Clumber Park estate would also to be notified about the case and given the opportunity to join the objections. The case is likely to be heard March-May 2019.

Are landowners at risk from fracking liability?

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has raised concerns with the government that long term liabilities associated with fracking have not been addressed, calling the lack of clarity “frustrating” . Here are a couple of press reports, and the letter itself: