Planning applications to frack will be fast-tracked under a new process.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and Communities Secretary Greg Clark made the announcement today in a bid to kick-start the shale gas revolution in the UK.
Under the new rules, if councils “repeatedly fail” to determine applications within the 16-week timeframe, they will potentially be decided by Mr Clark.
Ministers will consider calling in any application for shale exploration and will recover appeals on a case-by-case basis.
The government claims that will ensure communities and industry benefit from a “swift process” to develop a “potentially vital national industry”.
It however insists local people will have a “strong say” on the development of shale gas exploration in their area.
Ms Rudd said: “As a One Nation Government, we are backing the safe development of shale gas because it’s good for jobs giving hardworking people and their families more financial security, good for our energy security and part of our plan to decarbonise the economy. We need more secure, home grown energy supplies – and shale gas must play a part in that.
“To ensure we get this industry up and running we can’t have a planning system that sees applications dragged out for months or even years on end. Oversight by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency of shale developments makes our commitment to safety and the environment crystal clear. We now need, above all else, a system that delivers timely planning decisions and works effectively for local people and developers.”