Cuadrilla warmly welcomes this announcement from the Government and its continued commitment to get exploration for shale gas underway in the UK. It is undoubtedly in the national and the local interest to ascertain whether we will be able to satisfy the continued need for natural gas in the UK from our own indigenous onshore resources. If we can it will mean we are less reliant on imported gas and coal and better positioned to create jobs and wealth here in the UK.
Local authorities are expected to assess and determine planning applications of all types within a certain timeframe so this announcement is primarily about getting the existing planning system to work as it is intended. There is no good reason why an application for a shale gas exploration site should take three to four times longer to determine than an application for a major housing development a supermarket or a large scale quarry.