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