The CLA, the landowners’ organisation, has called on the government to recognise farming and landowning concerns over shale gas development.
A CLA letter, sent to Energy Minister, Mathew Hancock, states that the government’s recent response to the Underground Drilling Access consultation “fails to recognise landowners’ rights or provide adequate protection” where rights are infringed by shale gas development.
Despite recognising the “strong economic arguments” attached to shale gas, the letter highlights the fact the CLA members own or manage “a significant proportion of land situated above unconventional oil and gas reserves” and that, as a result, there are widespread concerns over potential changes of access to land holdings.
CLA president, Henry Robinson, wrote: “It does not seem sensible for government to be proposing amendments to the Infrastructure Bill to enable unrestricted access for the shale gas industry before this issue has been fully addressed and adequate protection for landowners is in place”.
Mr Robinson also requested a meeting with Mr Hancock to discuss in more detail the government’s proposed amendments to the Infrastructure Bill and how land and property owners can be better recognised in the development of UK shale resources.