Amendment to permitted development rights for drilling boreholes for groundwater monitoring for petroleum exploration

This is a DCLG response to the consultation and Invitation for views on further amendments to permitted development rights for petroleum exploration site investigation and monitoring.

On 5 March 2015 the Government issued a consultation seeking views on proposals to amend permitted development rights for mineral exploration to enable the drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring for petroleum exploration. This would enable groundwater monitoring to be put in motion much earlier in the planning process, and provide early reassurance that the environmental impacts are being properly considered, in the case of potential petroleum exploration proposals. The consultation closed on 16 April and 28 responses were received from a range of interested parties including local government (21%), businesses and trade associations (25%), landowners (22%), and others including planners, private individuals and one NonDepartmental Public Body.

Following the original proposals, the Government will introduce the following changes to permitted development rights in respect of all mining and mineral exploration:

  • In Classes J and K – including the drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring for petroleum exploration as permitted development;
  • In Class J.1 (c) - including the Broads within the definition of areas where development is not permitted. This recognises that the Broads are of similar status to National Parks;
  • In Class J - including protected groundwater source areas2 within the definition of areas where the drilling of boreholes for petroleum site investigation and monitoring is not permitted;
  • Under Article 5 - to provide in respect of Class K development (ie. permitted development not exceeding 6 months) that the mineral planning authority may make a direction restricting permitted development rights for the drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring for petroleum, where it is satisfied that this is expedient because the land is in a protected groundwater source area;
  • In Class J.1(g) and Class K.1(f) - increasing the permitted height of any structure assembled or provided on the site to 15 metres in height, as previously consulted on, to recognise that modern rigs for the drilling of boreholes can range between 10 and 15 metres in height.

Also, in the light of responses to the previous consultation, the Government is seeking views on further amendments to permitted development rights, for the purposes of petroleum exploration site investigation and monitoring, for:

  • the drilling of boreholes for carrying out of seismic investigation and monitoring (and the provision or assembly on that land or adjoining land of any structure required in connection with any of those operations);
  • the drilling of boreholes for purposes of locating and appraising mine workings (and the provision or assembly on that land or adjoining land of any structure required in connection with any of those operations);
  • the extension of the duration of the permitted development right for the drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring from 6 to 24 months.

Date: 10/08/2015 Date of publication

Author: DCLG

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 25.113 and 25.336


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