Monday, 22 August 2016

Households could get fracking payments under government plans

Quarrying is 'worse' than fracking, according to a recent survey, but it was fracking that was in the news again this month after the government launched a consultation on the 'Shale Wealth Fund'.

Articles from the construction press commented that: "PM’s fracking payments set to have wider implications" and from the planning press that "May revives plan to pay residents to support development":
The statement said: "The government will also be looking at whether this approach to the Shale Wealth Fund (SWF) can be a model for other community benefit schemes with the aim of putting more control and more resource in the hands of local households.
"Examples of where the principle could be extended include the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is currently being reviewed."
May said: "The government I need will always be driven by the interests of the many - ordinary families for whom life is harder than many people in politics realise. As I said on my first night as Prime Minister, when we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but of you.
"This announcement is an example of putting those principles into action. It’s about making sure people personally benefit from economic decisions that are taken - not just councils - and putting them back in control over their lives.
"We’ll be looking at applying this approach to other government programmes in the future too, as we press on with the work of building a country that works for everyone."
The announcement comes a year after the government quietly ditched a plan to pilot proposals for paying residents to support new homes in their areas.
As The Engineer wrote:
Time will tell if money paid directly to households will effectively kill off widespread opposition to fracking, but it must now be asked whether people living alongside arguably more complex projects – such as Hinkley Point C (if it does proceed) or HS2 – will be similarly compensated, and if that is a scenario that should be welcomed.