Land owners’ concerns over access rights

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The CLA has accused the Government of disregarding the rights of property owners and leaving them with the risk of long-term liability in its drive to promote shale gas extraction.

The Association has responded to a government consultation on underground drilling access, which proposes removing the need for landowner consent for underground works associated with oil, gas and geothermal heat exploration.

CLA North regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “As an organisation standing up for land ownership and property rights we have serious concerns with these proposals.

“The consultation has been extremely one-sided, simply meeting the demands of the energy industry while disregarding the rights and concerns of property owners - especially on how easily frackers can gain access and on who is responsible for any problems once they have moved on.

“Large-scale shale gas development is new to the UK and the long-term implications are still unknown. Once a well has been abandoned, we have no clear system in place to protect property owners from any ongoing liability should problems occur.”