Minister extends moratorium to underground coal gasification
Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant has announced that the Welsh Government’s precautionary approach to the development of unconventional oil and gas resources in Wales will be extended to underground coal gasification.
The Minister has issued a notification direction which will ensure that applications for development connected to the gasification of coal will need to be referred to the Welsh Ministers where a local planning authority are not proposing to refuse the application.
The Minister’s decision to issue the Town and Country Planning (Notification) (Underground Coal Gasification) (Wales) Direction 2016 is in line with the 2015 Direction which prevents local planning authorities from approving developments involving the onshore exploration of shale oil or gas using unconventional extraction techniques.
Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said:
“The direction has been issued to require that any planning application connected to the gasification of coal must be referred to Welsh Ministers where local planning authorities are minded to approve them. I have issued it in order to avoid any ambiguity and to ensure our precautionary approach extends to UCG.
“This new direction will apply to any relevant application for planning permission registered as valid on or after 25th March 2016.”
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