This consultation seeks views on a proposal to improve the monitoring for potential petroleum exploration, including shale gas, through making a minor amendment to existing permitted development rights. This change would grant permission for the drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring for petroleum exploration, enabling limited works to be carried out to establish baseline information on the groundwater environment in advance of, or in parallel to, any planning application(s) coming forward for such development.
Currently, drilling for boreholes for petroleum exploration (including exploration for shale gas) is excluded from the permitted development rights under Part 22 (mineral exploration) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995,. So such development requires an application for planning permission, either for the works alone or possibly as part of a wider permission(s) covering petroleum exploration.
It is proposed to amend the General Permitted Development Order so that development, which consists of the drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring for petroleum exploration, can take place as permitted development under Class A or Class B of Part 22.
One of the main justifications for the amendment is: "Water monitoring boreholes for a petroleum exploration project are in essence similar to water monitoring boreholes used for other mineral exploration. Generally, for petroleum, the diameter of the borehole would be about 150 millimetres, with the depth of the well varying from between 5 metres to 50 metres, depending on local geological conditions. This means the drilling operations for groundwater monitoring for potential petroleum exploration would be no more intrusive than that currently allowed by Part 22 for other types of mineral exploration."
Date: 05/03/2015 Start of consultation
16/04/2015 End of consultation