An MP is calling for the views of local people to be taken into account when decisions are being made to grant fracking licences after the government opened the bidding process yesterday, Monday.
All three parliamentary constituencies in the Advertiser and Review region have been opened for fracking licences according to a map released by the department of energy and climate change.
Companies can apply for fracking licences in the Buckingham, South Northamptonshire and Banbury constituencies. The licences provide the first step to starting drilling – but do not give absolute agreement to drill.
MP for Buckingham and Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow said: “It is early days but I am keen – as I am sure are all Buckingham constituency residents – to ensure the views of local people are taken fully into account with respect to fracking licences.
“The Department for Communities and Local Government has recently updated its guidance on granting applications for renewable energy developments and stated that meeting energy targets does not justify the wrong development in the wrong location. I trust that this will be the case here, and I will of course, continue to monitor the situation.”
On top of a licence, any further drilling application will then require planning permission, as well as permits from the Environment Agency and sign-off from the Health and Safety Executive.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, Buckingham town councillor Jon Harvey said: “The fracking map worries me. I am concerned that local people will not have a say. Surely #localism dictates that we should!”
In Bucks, permission for fracking activities will require planning permission from Bucks County Council as the local Minerals Planning Authority.
About half the country has been advertised for exploration.