As debate between environmentalists and an energy company continues over the future of Deerdykes in Cumbernauld, there is now new legislation governing fracking.
The Scottish Government’s latest National Planning Framework introduces five new measures relating to hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which includes a need for buffer zones and a duty to consult local communities. other changes include requiring companies be open about their plans and for fracking to be specifically mentioned in planning permission.
Constituency MSP Jamie Hepburn has welcomed the new rules.
He said: “I am pleased that the latest National Planning Framework introduces clearer guidelines for developers of fracking projects.
“I understand that while there are currently no fracking projects, or indeed applications for such projects, in Scotland, in the future they will only take place after local communities are fully consulted and closely involved in the risk assessment process for creating acceptable buffer zones.
“Given the concern there is around these matters I welcome that the policy makes it clear the buffer zones will be assessed by the planning authorities and statutory consultees with, importantly, a strong expectation that planning permission will be refused if they are unacceptable.
“This guidance strengthens the position of local communities and makes it clearer their voice must be heard.”