|I cannot honestly say that this surprises me. It was always going to be an uphill battle to get the test drilling proposal called in by WAG. It should be easier once actually fracking is part of the proposed activity in a subsequent application.
However, I still think we have a real, but outside chance of getting VoG to reject it, which in itself would be an important landmark event.
The battle is likely to have to go the distance, I suspect, and the distance is a very long haul I am afraid.
I will not be submitting any further call in requests for test drilling applications, for the time being at least. I will try again on Phase Two – exploratory wells – which will probably involve trial fracking ahead of Phase Three – full scale production.
Full text of letter received from WAG is below:
Dear Mr Chyba
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 – SECTION 77
I refer to your earlier correspondence asking the Welsh Ministers to call in the planning
I have considered the issues associated with the application in the light of the Welsh
In reaching my decision 1 did not consider the planning merits of the proposed development
The first is that the decision not to call in this application is not, nor should it be construed
Determination of this application out of the hands of the local planning authority.
The second is that should the applicants decide at a later stage that they wish to extract
S M JONES
Signed under authority of the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing,