§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the process whereby gas pipelines are granted planning permission; what provisions exist regarding public inquiries in relation to gas pipelines; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moynihan
The following procedures apply.
Gas pipelines over 10 miles long which are authorised by the Secretary of State for Energy under section 1 of the Pipelines Act 1962 receive deemed planning permission under section 5 of the Act except in those cases where a local planning authority maintains an objection. In these circumstances a planning inquiry is held.
Gas pipelines 10 miles long or less are covered by section 2 of the Act and must have planning permission from the relevant local planning authority.
British Gas has permitted development rights under the General Development Order 1988 which gives it a general grant of planning permission.