Europa Oil and Gas has applied for planning permission for a double line of security fencing and facilities for guards at its oil exploration site near Leith Hill.
The company’s proposals to drill and test for oil at the site were approved by a Planning Inspector last year, following a lengthy planning dispute.
The company now says it needs extra security to protect the site from protesters. It says “Without adequate security arrangements protestor activity could potentially introduce delays to the allocated 18-week timescale to undertake the required exploratory works at the Site and could also create safety issues.”
Call for an Environmental Impact Assessment
Campaign group Leith Hill Action Group (LHAG) say that this is a significant change to the plans that the Inspector approved.
They say the site area would be materially increased and it would now be visible from Coldharbour Lane.
LHAG also believes that the new application is being considered in the wrong way.
In their latest newsletter, Chair Patrick Nolan writes, “This application is being considered by County Officers as not being what is known as ‘EIA development’ (i.e. needing an Environmental Impact Assessment). We believe this is fundamentally against national guidance.
The Planning Practice Guidance on EIA states (paragraph 25) that: ‘An application should not be considered in isolation if, in reality, it is an integral part of a more substantial development… In such cases the need for EIA must be considered in the context of the whole development.’
LHAG argue that a new Environmental Impact Assessment must be performed for the new development as a whole before this new application can be considered.
How to object
LHAG are asking people to URGENTLY send objections to Surrey County Council Planning Development Team. Whichever way you choose, you must include your full name and postal address.
For suggestions on points to make, see the LHAG newsletter
You can have your say:
- online: http://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?AppNo=SCC%20Ref%202016/0170
- by email: MWCD@surreycc.gov.uk
- by post: Planning & Development Group; County Hall; Kingston upon Thames; Surrey; KT1 2DY
Leith Hill Action Group website: www.surreycommunity.info/lhag
Follow Leith Hill Action Group on Twitter: @Leith_Hill_AG