‘Landowners need reassurance on fracking access’, says CLA

23 April 2014

The CLA today (23 April) said reports of a potential announcement relaxing access rights for shale gas operators should come as ‘little surprise’.

The organisation said the Government has already made clear its commitment to developing the shale gas industry, but landowners need reassurance if access rights for fracking are relaxed.

CLA President Henry Robinson said: “The shale gas industry has consistently pointed to sub-surface access rights as a major barrier to the investment and development of fracking.

“This potential announcement is hardly surprising but landowners must be given assurances over what is happening on their land and any liability removed.

“It is vital that any new system put in place recognises landowners existing rights by providing adequate compensation for any losses incurred and provides a better way to develop an industry in the national interest.”

The CLA said while it is concerned  over any erosion of landownership rights, the existing system which allows landowners to be taken to court if access denied is costly and simply delays a largely inevitable outcome.

 Mr Robinson added; “Those with genuine objections to shale gas development may be better heard in the planning process than in the courts.  

 “If the Government is determined to make changes to trespass laws to provide better access for shale gas, the CLA will fully engage in any consultation process and ensure our members’ and the national interest are best served.”