Policy MIN3 Hydrocarbons

Proposals for exploitation of hydrocarbons through conventional methods of extraction must comply with Policy MIN2.

Council will apply a presumption against unconventional extraction of hydrocarbons and gases by methods such as hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’), until there is sufficient and robust evidence on all environmental impacts.

All proposals must meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.

Justification and Amplification

As with valuable minerals, exploitation of hydrocarbons is undertaken under licence from the Department for Economy. There are no such licences operational on the ground in Mid and East Antrim at present although desktop research and analysis continues to be undertaken. As a result of the recent DfI consultation on permitted development, it is possible that different legislative arrangements may emerge in the future in regard to exploration drilling for valuable minerals and hydrocarbons.

In line with the SPPS, council will apply a presumption against unconventional hydrocarbon extraction, also known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, in the absence of sufficient and robust evidence on all environmental impacts. Such evidence must relate to the principle of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ as a legitimate method of extraction backed by a determination by government in Northern Ireland on this issue.

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