MACDONALD BACKS SNP CALL ON LABOUR TO CHANGE POSITION ON FRACKING UNDER HOMES

The Scottish National Party has called on Labour to change their position on fracking under homes. The call comes as the UK Infrastructure Bill – which will remove householders rights to object to drilling under their homes -  is to be discussed in the Public Bill Committee.The SNP have formally opposed the Tory plans to remove householders rights, but in the Infrastructure Bill debate in the Commons last month, Labour’s front bench spokesperson, Richard Burden MP, said that Labour “in principle do not oppose the reforms to underground access.”Commenting, Angus MacDonald MSP, whose constituency will be affected by the plans, said:

“Labour need to be clear on their position on fracking- particularly the rights householders have over fracking under their homes. I was concerned by their statement last month that they do not oppose the Tory reforms.

“The Infrastructure Bill seeks to introduce a right for frackers to operate under land and homes without the owners consent, overturning the right under present law for the matter to be determined by a court should there be disagreement. This is unacceptable since it effectively removes an owners right to object to operations under their property.“Frankly it is not at all clear how the rights under this bill, under the Petroleum Act 1998, the Mines Act of 1966 and Planning Law interact and the clear and sensible thing to do would be to bring all these matters under the control of the Scottish Government before fracking becomes established.“The UK government seem determined to do whatever is necessary to get fracking underway. In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor even promised a Sovereign Wealth Fund of part of the revenue to the North of England. Contrast that with the absolute refusal to countenance any such fund for Scottish offshore Oil and Gas. Clearly they are desperate, which eloquently illustrates the huge concerns there are over this technology.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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