Regulation

Angus applies for retrospective permission for Brockham well site – but not for drilling

Brockham 3 Phil MacDonald

Brockham oil site. Photo: Phil MacDonald

The company which strongly denied accusations that it drilled for oil without planning consent in Surrey has submitted a new application for the site near Dorking.

The retrospective application made by Angus Energy covers facilities and buildings currently on the well pad at Brockham – not a sidetrack well drilled there in January this year.

Angus has been involved in a dispute with Surrey County Council over whether the sidetrack well needed planning permission. The company said it was covered by an existing consent. The council disagreed and asked Angus to submit a retrospective application.

In a statement to investors issued today, Angus said the new application was to “regularise the upgraded infrastructure”.

The application seeks to retain a site office/meeting room, toilets and mess facilities, security office, site hardstanding and car parking, two storage containers, lighting units, CCTV equipment, generators and electrical control buildings. It also retains a 2.4m high fence and gates.

A report by the council said:

“The site control building & generator building have been on site for many years & have been repainted as part of a site upgrade exercise.

“The lighting units have similarly been on site for a considerable period of time although the CCTV cameras were installed approximately 12 months ago.

“The site offices & toilet block are replacement units for those previously located on site.

“The application seeks to regularise the installation of all facilities not covered by present planning controls”.

The council has decided that the application does not need an environmental impact assessment.

Angus welcomed this and said the proposal was separate from the subsurface work undertaken by the company at Brockham.

In May, Angus said its position on permission for the sidetrack well had been supported by a leading barrister (link). The company added that it would put the sidetrack into production as soon as possible after it received approval from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

OGA approval usually requires all other consents to be in place first. Surrey County Council has said that production from the sidetrack would need planning permission.

Angus directors met officials from the OGA in March and notes from the meeting reveal there were discussions about the planning issue.

According to the notes, drafted by the OGA and released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, an official

“reiterates the need to obtain further information and understand the company’s activities in light of the different views between SCC [Surrey County Council] and Angus.”

The FOI response points out that Angus considered the notes to be “incomplete in certain respects” and did not agree with them.

  • The application, number MO/2017/0916, is available online here

22 replies »

  1. They want permission until 31 December 2036.. is this how long their ‘license’ is? Does Surrey County Council envision maintaining a drilling presense with multiple sidetracks for 20 years? If the council does not ‘normally’ give permission to others in other situations, they should not divert from regular planning practice and give preferential treatment

  2. Yeah right! The usual smokescreen and mirrors.
    Sidetrack is not drilling? Yeah, and fracking is not fracking if its not called fracking, Propant squeezing and acidisation is not demonstrably unsafe? Brexit is not brexit, and the £2 billion “bung” to the DUP is not a bribe extorted from the British taxpayer [Edited by moderator] The slow motion car crash that is this government is becoming more bizarre by the day.
    Oh yes, and the Queen gets an 8% increase because she has a few expenses? But British tax payer workers wont get 8% will they?
    What an absolute farce!

      • Angry? Moi? Non monsieur, just a natural reaction to tory insanity, try it sometime. It seems to me you all sit behind your keyboards calmly chatting making silly remarks while this country sinks deeper and deeper into the worst environmental threat we have ever seen, and then cry “oh how awful! Someone got annoyed at our naughty industry?”
        Well you ain’t seen nothing yet, however, just for fun, here is a little movie reference, slightly altered of course:
        —–
        Professor Frack: Oh, of course I’ll keep it to myself! Until the pollution reaches my lower lip, and then I’m gonna tell SOMEBODY!
        —-
        Professor Frack: What’s next?

        Frax: Sidetrack number five, the bottom falls out!

        Professor Frack: Sidetrack number five? Ha ha ha ha!… Er, Max, we Are Sidetrack number five!

        Fun isn’t it?
        Btw, which deckchair do you think should be moved here? Oh! The ice has arrived! A bit big for my glass perhaps?

  3. They don’t want permission until 2036, they already have permission until 2036. This is for production from multiple wells. All permissions except OGA approval are already in place. Licence renewal is a simple paper exercise and nothing to do with SCC that is also OGA remit. Production will happen very soon given the government’ stance on conventional oil production. No fracking here.

  4. [Edited by moderator] You might find that the majority of tower blocks that are failing the tests are in Labour run areas, and that it is not a case of money not having been spent but it would appear currently that it has not been spent coirrectly. Talk with people in the building trade, this is par for the course.The Achilles heel of local councils, this time with tragic consequences. The whole mess needs full examination and correction. It doesn’t start with this government but it is left for them to sort it.
    And there are some who claim once decisions are made locally, then they know best and shouldn’t be overturned.

    • [Edited by moderator] I am here in Kensington talking to residents and families, distributing food and clothes and bedding talking to people[Edited by moderator].
      Come and hear the real stories, dont sit there pontificating. [Edited by moderator] Fracking has gotten away with the same prevarication and criminal avoidance of responsibility. That stops now.

  5. [Edited by moderator]

    Having worked in the construction trade I am all too familiar with shortcuts taken, cladding is feeling the wrath but is relatively easy to fix but there are issues far deeper in many buildings fabrics. Just as well there are no earthquakes in the UK big enough to cause any problems!

    • GBK, did you not know ???

      Gentrification of London is happening NOW … Benefit caps on housing is already forcing many ( including economic migrants ) to move up North ….. We have low cost, housing building programs proposed in Trafford, Salford and the surrounding areas on a scale you could never imagine … The moto here is ” pack em in like Sardines ”

      Yet our road infrastructure is crumbling and already at an almost permanent gridlock. Pollution levels above legal EU guidelines, schools and hospitals already at full capacity .

      Locating to London are the well paid, high tech companies like Google and Facebook… Up North we get the dirty, low paid, low tech industries like Fracking and Incinerators.

      • Ah here he is it’s good ol Jack. What’s the plans to bring a bit of cash to the desolate North then Jackie boy ? I am all ears 🙂

        • GBK are you talking about the potential loss of 11 , yes 11 permanent jobs that willl not materialise if fracking does not go ahead at the Preston Road frack site, or maybe you are referring to the 5 permanent jobs that the community will not get if the Ineos frack site in Yorkshire does not go ahead ?

          Hardly a job bonanza is it ????

          On a lighter note, heres one idea GBK, we could easily replace that paltry number of jobs with Lolypop ladies .

          I’ve missed our jousting GBK, but as you know, there is never an harm intended .

          Regards, Jack

  6. Jack-we have incinerators in Hampshire. Absolutely great investment. Most locals unaware of them, until a new one is scheduled. Only landfill is the waste ash. As a result we have great carp fisheries and boating in the ex gravel pits, instead of filling them with rubbish.
    Considering that Portsmouth and Southampton will be joined together shortly through huge housing plans, and large re-development of the prime Marchwood Power station site plus new container port at Dibden Bay likely to go ahead once road network for the Marchwood development is up-graded, they are irreplaceable.

    • You make some good points Martin, BUT

      ( 1 ) Is your incinerator less than 50 -100 yards from housing and a school ?

      ( 2 ) Has yours been built in an area that even before the incinerator was built; regularly breaches EU air quality guidelines ? Prior to the incinerator being built, the area was classed as an ” air quality management area ”
      ( 3 ) Was the stack heights of the incinerators you talk about reduced by 50% from what is classed as safe height in order to facilitate the owners of a small PRIVATELY owned airport, whose owners incidently are the ones building the incinerator.
      ( 4 ) Do your incinerators burn rubbish that is brought in from other parts of the world ?
      ( 5 ) Do the incinerators you talk about use what is classed as ” best practice ” NOT best available technology to filter the pollutants from the emissions prior to release ??
      Don’t get this confused ladies and gentlemen ” best practice ” does NOT mean best available technology . (( This is where cost is factored in to the equation and human health can come second ))

      You may ask how after many years of the council and people fighting against this did it get passed…. That is because in 2013 , one government minister in London made the final decision and overruled everyone else .

      What happened to local decisions for local people?

  7. [Edited by moderator]

    i have been speaking to the people in the distribution centre, do you know that residents and survivors have been instructed not to speak to the press, on pain of losing compensation? And that they are told they cannot enter the rich flats zone only several hundred metres away? That there may be 350, or more missing than are stated on the press?And what is disgraceful about that? Nothing i suppose!
    All your colleagues can do is to propose the condemning of billions to death as your esteemed colleagues like to propose? Look to them, and criticise them, that is really a subject for righteous indignation.

    What this says is that we have been promised gold standard regulations with o$£&g exploration and extraction, but little or nothing actually emerges as a regulatory measure? In other words, what existing regulations are not enforced, and cries for stronger regulations are ignored. That is exactly the situation with fire regulations, regardless of government and council.

    [Edited by moderator]

    What a joke? And soon there will be the same investigation into the o$£&g industry that have wormed their way into our government and land, and similar investigations into the deliberate non action regulatory prevarication and and criminal avoidance of the existing regulations, such as they are, and then we will make sure new regulations and operational practice controls are put into place and given real teeth to regulate this loose cannon industry.

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