My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government set out in the Written Ministerial Statement HCWS690 of 17 May 2018, that we will progress manifesto commitments by holding an early stage consultation in summer 2018, on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate.
We will consult in summer 2018 on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime. The UK regulatory regime for shale gas is considered among the most robust and stringent in the world. However, we acknowledge that it is also complex, with three regulators, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority, all with responsibilities for regulation. We will set up a Shale Environmental Regulator on a virtual basis from the summer. This will bring the regulators together to act as one coherent single face for the public, mineral planning authorities and industry,