Live updates: Surrey councillors discuss lorry plans for Leith Hill oil site

Leith Hill eviction 170621 Dan Harvey 4

Site vehicle on Coldharbour Lane. Photo: Dan Harvey

Live updates from Surrey County Council planning meeting to discuss a Traffic Management Plan for Europa’s oil exploration site at Bury Hill Wood, near Leith Hill. The meeting is also discussing a survey and safety audit for the site. These are conditions of a planning permission granted in August 2015 following a second planning inquiry. This report has been made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop

The meeting, at County Hall, in Kingston-upon-Thames, is expecting to hear from representatives and consultants of  Europa Oil and Gas, as well as nine speakers from local groups opposed to the operation including Leith Hill Action Group and A Voice for Leith Hill.

The traffic management plan controls traffic to the site via Knoll Road and Coldharbour Lane in Dorking. Along with the safety audit and survey has been recommended for approval by planning officers.

LH planning meeting 2

Discussion of Traffic Management Plan (TMP)


Vote on deferment

6  agree, 4 oppose.

Decision on TMP is deferred.


Cllr Jeff Harris

Proposes a deferment while key issues are addressed. These include:

  • The status of mobile phone signals in the area
  • Whether Europa had agreement that the Ryka’s cafe car park could be used as a holding area for HGVs
  • Whether aluminium track or stone would be used at the site
  • The view of Mole Valley District Council

Cllr Furniss seconds this and says it will give the committee to take account of Mole Valley District Council


Vote on refusal

Two in favour, six against


Caroline Smith, highways officer

We are satisfied that the drilling rig can physically be taken to the site. she says.


Alan Stones, planning manager

The committee is not responsible for emergency planning. On the capacity of parking at the Ryka’s Cafe, this is an operational issue that is not for the committee to decide.

On Mole Valley District Council consultation, Mr Stones says it possible for the committee to decide today even though the district council could raise other issues. The decision notice would then not be issued.


Cllr Jeff Harris

Cllr Harris says:

I think we need to firm up on issues, such as 3D analysis of how the vehicles can navigate the route, capacity at the Ryka’s cafe on the A24,  mobile phone coverage and what Mole Valley District Council decides tonight.


Cllr Keith Taylor

Cllr Taylor says the very least the applicant deserves is a precise statement of what we are unhappy about. Any reasons for refusing or deferring should be issues defined by the inspector, not wider issues, he says.


Cllr Matt Furniss

Cllr Funiss calls for Europa to say whether it will use stone or aluminium tracking. The committee can’t decide on both options, he says. It has to be one or the other. The applicant should know which are available.

Alan Stones, planning manager, says you have to assume it will be stone because that is the worst-case scenario for traffic numbers.


Cllr Andrew Povey

Asks for a check on the calculation of lorry movements


Cllr Tim Hall, committee chairman

Cllr Hall says:

We are dealing with 10 or 12 lorries on the Dorking roads. That is not very large number compared with those in the system. Other vehicles already deliver up Coldharbour Lane.

A very limited number of lorries will not stack up under challenge, he says.

Mole Valley is not mobile phone friendly. I don’t think what Cllr Cooksey’s motion to refuse the plan will stand up to scrutiny outside. It’s not evidence-based. We are having to work from the inspector’s report, he says.


Cllr Stephen Cooksey

He restates his arguments against the TMP


Cllr Tim Hall

He says a motion to refuse must be more detailed.


Cllr Stephen Cooksey

I think there have been sufficient changes to the TMP since 2014, he says.

“I don’t believe it is workable. We should send this back to Europa to come up with a plan that is workable.”

“The [planners’] report is complacent about the issues that have been raised this morning.

“We don’t have a TMP that complies with the requirements of national policy documents.”

Cllr Cooksey says there is no attempt to look at the effect on Dorking as a whole. That hasn’t been addressed at all. The town is prone to gridlock, he says.

“If there are fairly consistent hold-ups on Coldharbour the whole of the centre of Dorking is at risk of gridlock for a lot of time and we can’t accept that.”

He says the plan fails to address how to manage a large number of HGVs in Knoll Road and Coldharbour without having a serious impact on local residents.

“There’s been no attempt to model transit times in Coldharbour Lane and whether it can cope with them. The TMP has to take that seriously and give us more information.

“There is not significant attention to damage to banks on Coldharbour Lane.”

He says the TMP does not adequately address how emergency vehicles can access the lane.

“I don’t think that is something we can shelve to a later date. We need to know whether emergency vehicles can deal with emergencies.”

Cllr Cooksey says:

“There are very major inconveniences likely for residents in Knoll Road and Coldharbour Lane. The holding bay is unacceptable and may not be sufficient. I still worry that school times that have not been adequately taken into account.”

There has been no attempt to assess the route to Flint Hill, he says.

There is genuine concern about the safety of walkers, cyclists and horse riders and this has not been sufficiently dealt with. We also need more detail about which single unnamed provider that can deliver mobile phone service, he says.

“This TMP is unworkable and it should be sent back to the applicant.”


Alan Stones, planning manager

You have to accept the route and that the inspector believed the route could work. The inspector required CCTV cameras in the HGV cabs. He was aware of the residents’ concerns, Mr Stones says.

The emergency services are not objecting to the TMP, he adds. If they felt they could not follow an operational plan they would have raised objections.


Cllr Keith Taylor, committee vice chairman

Are people suggesting that it is not possible to carry out development in the Surrey Hills? Cllr Taylor asks. It is a question of getting the detail right.

Compared with roads in his Shere Division, Coldharbour Lane is comparatively wide, he says. Narrow roads haven’t stopped development with long and wider vehicles in his division.  It has been achieved by good TMPs.

“A lot of work has gone into this TMP. It is not sensible for us to say we are ignoring that. There comes a point where we have to trust the officers.

“That’s as reasonable a set of proposals as possible. If we accept this TMP I have no reason to think this would be different from other schemes.”


Cllr Jeff Harris

Cllr Harris says he has been up and down the road and says the sight lines are very difficult.

“I would question any computer generated assessment of speed and length of journeys”, he says.

He says it would be very difficult to see how the rig would fit on Coldharbour Lane because there isn’t 3D analysis. Cllr Harris adds:

“I can’t get the county council mobile signal to work on Coldharbour Lane. I doubt whether a mobile phone provider could make this work.”

On the recommended conditions, he says:

“It is self-enforcement by the drivers. That doesn’t work in practice.”

On the width of the road, “computer-aided assessments don’t help in these conditions”

That Mole Valley didn’t have a meeting in order to contribute to the consultation was “perverse” he says.

He is disappointed that the police response it was better than a bad job. It isn’t, he says.

The season that the works are carried out will have an impact, Cllr Harris says.

“I feel that some of conditions and concerns are not satisfied”.


Alan Stones, planning manager

Mr Stones says a journey up Coldharbour Lane of 30 minutes should be possible.


Samantha Murphy, planning officer

Ms Murphy says there should be an additional 300 movements. She says the timings assume an unimpeded journey of 30mph.

A person in the public gallery says:


Another says:

“Do you live in Dorking?”


Cllr Bernie Muir, Conservative

Cllr Muir asks about how likely is it that Europa will use the aluminium sheeting option, rather than stone on the surface of the well site.

She also suggests there might be an additional 300 lorry movements needed and asks whether they have been taken into account in the assessments.

Cllr Muir says

“I can’t see any realistic timings for the movement of the lorries”.


Alan Stones, planning manager

Mr Stones says the council has spent 12 weeks on the TMP. He says:

“I don’t believe residents’ interests and comments have been ignored”.

Officers have addressed concerns adequately, he says.

“The inspector would not have allowed the appeal if there was no remedy on traffic. If there was no remedy there would be no permission.”

This is a discussion of conditions, not a decision about the development, he says.

There are other regulatory regimes that apply to public safety and you are entitled to rely on these regimes. They have not objected to the TMP, Mr Stones says.

Mr Stones says the inspector accepted their would be inconvenience for residents in Knoll Road but it would not be “inordinate”.

On damage to the banks of Coldharbour Lane, Mr Stones says the inspector was satisfied that they could be protected.

The effects of traffic would not go unnoticed, the inspector accepted, Mr Stones says.

He says: the TMP will minimise the levels of interference and risk for a short duration of 18 weeks. The  inspector said there was “an acceptable solution”.


Cllr Hazel Watson

The local ward county councillor says:

“I believe the increased traffic combined with route of Coldharbour Lane raises highway safety concerns. The TMP does little to overcome the problems.”

There is a real risk of damage, she says. There is no proper assessment of the impact on emergency vehicles. It is not possible for HGVs to pull over.

Cllr Watson says:

“It is unacceptable for residents to phone for permission to leave their home. It will cause considerable and inconvenience for local residents.”

She says the scheme will reduce capacity on a car park on the A24 used by visitors.

“There is no analysis of the workability of the TMP. I do not believe that it can be done.

“The applicant has to demonstrate it but this TMP document does not do that.

“It is unworkable and must be rejected.”

There is applause from the public gallery.


Richard Elliott, traffic consultant for Europa

Mr Elliott says the TMP has been developed over an extended period of time. The most recent version is very similar to the previous one, he says.

“The TMP is sound, as the planning inspector said, on the proviso that the number of cyclists was taken into account.”

The plan proposes a 30mph speed limit on Coldharbour Lane where speed monitors have shown vehicles travel at 60mp on Coldharbour Lane, he says. A person in the public gallery says:

“Physically impossible”.

Mr Elliott says: “We have not ignored pedestrians or horse riders”.

“This TMP builds on initial proposals and has been developed over an extended period”

The proposal to use metal sheeting, rather than stone on the site, has reduced the number of vehicles being used, he says.

“We will not need to use the Knoll Road holding bay for more than three times.

“The sheeting vehicles will not come in groups of three. We are reacting by removing or reducing the number of vehicles we need to take down the road.”

Mr Elliott adds:

“We did a survey of cyclists on weekdays. We know they are there. They are absolutely minimal compared with Saturdays. But we have not ignored them.”

He says the road will not be closed during construction. It will be closed only to through traffic is when the rig is delivered or removed. At other times, traffic will be managed and the road will not be closed.

All but one of properties on Coldharbour Lane are on part of a road where two vehicles can pass. He says this is based on data.

“This is not a figment of my imagination.”

People in the public gallery shout:

“It is”.

Mr Elliott says sections of the route allow two HGVs to pass and others for a car and an HGV.

A person in the public gallery calls out:

“This doesn’t take account of length of the vehicles”.

The consultant says site vehicles will not park or stop on the road.

“If an emergency vehicle came through Coldharbour Road …

People in the public gallery say:

“Coldharbour Lane. Get it right mate”

Mr Elliot continues

“We have lots of days when there was no traffic at all so there would be no obstruction.”

An emergency vehicle would be able to pass through Coldharbour Lane, he says. The maximum delay would be 30 seconds if it was following an HGV before it could overtake.

The TMP has been thorough risk-assessed, he says.

“If there is a major incident, we will stop, of course we will.”

“There has been a misunderstanding and a unwillingness to understand how much effort has been put into the TMP.

“The inspector says the TMP was workable.”

People in the public gallery say:

“That is factually incorrect”

Mr Elliott says: “An emergency vehicle can arrive unannounced in Knoll Road and the maximum delay is 30 seconds because this is worked out with data and by driving along the road.”

On communication, he says a mobile phone provider has said it has coverage on Coldharbour Lane.

“It may be you don’t have the right provider.”

He adds:

“We will be using radio between the vehicles and the central control point. There will be communication.”

Mr Elliott adds: “I can’t be responsible for other people who cause obstruction”.

This submission has not been rushed. The permissions have been met. It minimises the impact on the residents. It is fit for all purpose. I commend it to the committee.


Speakers against the TMP: Patrick Nolan

Mr Nolan, chair of Leith Hill Action Group, said:

“A traffic management plan must be workable or it cannot be approved. The [inquiry] inspector took the unusual step of giving permission to the drilling but not to the TMP, because he viewed the included TMP as unworkable.

“He demanded a proper TMP be put in place before any drilling be allowed to start.

“It is therefore not only acceptable but mandatory to refuse any TMP until it is good enough, even if this does delay any permitted drilling.”

It is not good enough to waive through a TMP that is the same as the one presented to the inquiry.

“It is unworkable, deficient and downright dangerous”

Europa said it would hold public meetings. Consultation has been lip-service only. The legal minimum 14-day consultation period ended today – Mole Valley [District Council] haven’t even had a meeting during that period to be able to respond. He asked:

“How does this constitute serious public engagement?”

“LHAG only had a chance to comment on a single draft before the planning officers’ report, and had no response to or engagement with its 9 page critique, most of which has remained unaddressed.

“On Monday – well within the 14-day consultation – LHAG submitted three pages of further uncertainties in the basic facts and crucial omissions in the current TMP.

“As a committee, have you had a chance to review this? It’s certainly missing from the planning officers’ report”.

Mr Nolan said:

“This attempt by Europa and planning officers to rush the TMS through will be seen by the public as collusion.

“To ignore the significant problems that have been raised would be negligence.

“If negligence leads to death, that is a criminal matter. Those asked to approve this TMP should bear this seriously in mind when discharging their responsibility.

“In the end, the buck stops with you, and you should be totally sure of the safety of it before approving it. I don’t see how this is possible based on the poor quality of the submission. “


Speakers against the TMP: Max Rosenberg

Mr Rosenberg says the TMP is “dangerous unworkable for Coldharbour Lane” and “impactically unworkable” for residents.

He says it is  “woefully short” on identification of risk, actions kto mitigate them and contingency planning. He says:

“Some risk are dismissed outright, such as equestrians and pedestrians”.

“Other risks are not mentioned at all.

“The risk that so much as one out of over 1,500 movements of giant lorries gets stuck or runs into problems is apparently not worth consideration

“And how can there be a licence for dealing with radioactive substances and yet there be nothing in the TMP about their transportation?”

Mr Rosenberg says Coldharbour Lane is the only reasonable access for emergency vehicles to Coldharbour and for people in the neighbouring woods.

“There is no proper analysis of extra delays to emergency vehicles as a result of closures and slow moving lorries, just a vague assurance that banksmen will somehow prevent it.

“Our more thorough analysis suggests that actually we can expect emergency vehicles to be delayed in excess of 10 minutes – life threatening.”

Mr Rosenberg says residents of Coldharbour Lane will, in effect, become prisoners for six hours a day, five days a week for 18 weeks.

“We are told they will be allowed to exit their properties only after permission from the banksmen. How ill they get this permission?

“Mobile phones, Europa says. But Europa identified the lack of mobile phone signal as a problem when clearing the protester camp.

“So how are he residents to navigate a road that is blocked for more than 40 minutes in an hour when they can’t contact the banksmen and won’t know from which direction the alternating one-way traffic is coming?”

Mr Rosenberg asks the committee:

“Please turn down this deficient and unworkable TMP”


Speakers against the TMP: Vicki Elcoate

Ms Elcoate says she is expressing the views of people concerned about the impact of the proposals, particularly the call from over 2,000 people who have signed a petition to seek protection for the historic trees in Coldharbour Lane.

She says people use Coldharbour Lane as the most direct route from Dorking to Leith Hill and Leith Hill Place. They include pedestrians and horse riders

“It is very important that the Committee is clear that the failure of assessment of the risk for these users is a major omission in understanding the impacts of this plan”.

She says the banks were damaged during the eviction of a camp at the site.

“If the TMP goes ahead without proper assessment of these real-world impacts, there can be no effective mitigation. The trees and banks will be damaged again by Europa”.

She asks where is the proof that the banks will not be damaged.

“The 2D analysis supplied is too low resolution to do the job and misses important sections of road. And where is the 3D analysis to show they can clear humps and not damage overhead breanches?

“For the first public inquiry, LHAG [Leith Hill Action Group] paid for a 3D analysis that showed it was not feasible – is doing the same to prove otherwise too big a price for Europa to pay? Or are they afraid of what it will show.”

Mrs Elcoate says:

“The traffic management plan has inevitable and predictable impacts that render it unworkable and unacceptable.

“Please support your local communities in Surrey in protecting us and our environment and turn this down”


Speakers against the TMP: Janet Housden

Mrs Houseman, who lives near Coldharbour Lane, says she appeared before the committee in 2011 and 2015.

She raises the issue of parking lorries in a holding area in Knoll Lane, a residential road with 70 homes, before travelling up Coldharbour Lane.

She says Europa proposed there would be a limit of three minutes on waiting HGVs in Knoll Road but the inquiry inspector said this was unworkable.

“In the latest TMP there is no longer a prescribed time limit and escort vehicles are advised merely to move the HGVs ‘as soon as practicable’.

“This will lead to unacceptable HGV parking which will not only significantly impact on the quality of life for Knoll Road residents but will also cause dangerous traffic conditions for cars, cyclists, or  pedestrians  seeking to get past the parked lorries and access Coldharbour Lane or Ridgeway Road.”

Europa has said it might use aluminium sheeting, rather than stone on the site. A transporting bringing this measures 18.3m and would take up two of the three parking bays, Janet Housden says.

“If more thank one additional HGV arrived in Knoll Road there would be no designated place for them to park.

“A banksman controlling this situation will not only need to be in phone contact with colleagues further south along Coldharbour Lane (to obtain information on northbound traffic), but at the same time would need to be aware of traffic including cyclists from three other directions.

“It would be impossible for one individual to be adequately aware of the changing situation.

“If you agree to this TMP, and if – as is entirely likely – there are one or more fatal accidents, you are laying yourselves open to the possible charge of corporate manslaughter.”

In 2015, the inquiry inspector said there was a lack of due diligence on the part of those overseeing highway interests, Janet Housden says.

To applause she says:

“The TMP’s treatment of Knoll Road is unworkable and its lack of proper risk mitigation is deficient”.


Speakers against the TMP: Pat Smith

Mrs Smith says the TMP is deficient because it does not consider the impact on Flint Hill, the designated route to Knoll Road from the A24 roundabout.

She adds:

“Actually along this route, it will be unworkable”.

Flint Hill is major access point for the 6,500 residents on the Goodwyns Estate. The traffic management plan is silent on whether they have been consulted or informed, she says.

Flint Hill is narrow, with a single footpath for much of its length. It has a primary school and is heavily used  by children on bikes and parents with buggies. The plan is also silent on whether they have been consulted, she says.

Transporting the rig from the Ryka’s cafe to the site will take three days each way. There is nothing in the plan on how this will work on Flint Hill, Mrs Smith says.

“How will the rig and its convoys of 40-50ft lorries get up Flint Hill without posing a major traffic hazard to pedestrians and causing traffic chaos on already heavily-used roads?”

Mrs Smith disagrees that traffic is lighter in the afternoon in Dorking. The town is often gridlocked between 9.30am and 3pm, she says.

“These plans will make a bad situation intolerable”.

Mrs Smith adds:

“The TMP is woefully deficient – it is silent on issues of major importance. These issues make it unworkable – perhaps that’s why the TMP is silent on them.”

Discussion of traffic survey and safety audit

Planning officers have suggested that two recommendations of the safety audit should be rewritten. The audit recomended that HGV drivers stop when they see a cyclists. The officers said there should be a card in the cab advising them to be aware of riders. The officers also proposed replacing warning signs for cyclists with advising them to follow the highway code.


Vote on revised safety audit

Eight in favour. One against


Vote on amendment to adopt all safety audit recommendations

Five in favour. Three against.

The amendment is carried


Cllr Stephen Cooksey

Cllr Cooksey said all the recommendations should be adopted. It might safe a life, he says


Cllr Matt Furniss

Cllr Furniss says all the recommendations should be implemented and could be enforced.


Alan Stones, planning manager

Mr Stones says breaches of planning conditions are dealt with in different ways, depending on the severity. The site will be monitored by periodic visits.

Otherwise we rely on the public to tell us if there are issues that concern them.

He asks where the safety audit fits into that. Elements of the audit may involve other regimes because they are concerned with highway safety. It is difficult to answer how the safety audit recommendations will be enforced.


Cllr Matt Furniss

Cllr Furniss asks how the council could enforce the officers’ proposal that HGV drivers should have a card in their cab requiring them to be aware of cyclists.


Cllr Keith Taylor, vice chairman

Cllr Taylor says it is not unusual to reject a recommendation of a safety audit. It would be silly for the committee to ignore the advice of the highways department, which said two safety audit recommendations which were not suitable.


Cllr Stephen Cooksey

Cllr Cooksey asks the committee to accept all four recommendations of the safety audit.


Keith Sergeant, resident of Knoll Road and chartered planner

Mr Sergeant asks to ask a question. Chairman, Cllr Tim Hall, says asking a question is not part of the process. Mr Sergeant says you are going by process not practicality.

Cllr Hall says “we are legally very closely constrained and both sides have rights.

“We have to deal with what we have in front of us.”

Mr Sergeant says

“There is one big omission in the safety audit. That is parking in Knoll Road. That has a major risk attached to it.”

Cllr Hall says “We cannot add to the inspector’s report”.

Mr Sergeant says

“I am not adding to it. I am raising this issue because it is absolutely critical as a resident of Knoll Road and a chartered planner”


Caroline Smith,, transport development team

Ms Smith says not all the recommendations of the audit have been accepted. This was reviewed by the head of planning. Two recommendations were not appropriate, she says. She says the surveys were adequate.


Cllr Stephen Cooksey, Surrey Opposition

If we accept a safety audit we should implement its recommendations.

He says he is concerned about whether the audit was sufficient to produce significant results. He is worried about the way it was conducted, particularly because it recorded no pedestrians and equestrians. This may raise questions about the adequacy of the survey.


Caroline Smith, transport development team

Ms Smith says the safety audit was unique in Surrey. The council was satisfied by the audit.


Alan Stones, Planning Manger

Mr Stones says a condition of the permission requires the submission of a survey of cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders on Saturdays. That is what the committee has to assess. Europa has dropped activity on Saturday, Mr Stones says.

The safety audit covers the junction of Knoll Road and Coldharbour Lane. This has been reviewed by county highways and meets the requirement. Europa has met the condition.


Richard Elliott, traffic consultant for Europa

There is continuous Department of Transport counting in Knoll Road, which has been used to assess traffic on the route to the side.

Europa is not disregarding pedestrians and horse riders, he says. Just because they weren’t counted in the survey does not mean the company is disregarding them, he says.

I recommend the survey and audit to the committee and ask for their approval.


Opponents of the traffic survey and safety audit: Charlotte Nolan

Mrs Nolan, who lives in Coldharbour, said the Environmental Impact Assessment was based on an old traffic management plan.

She says no consideration has been given to the extra time for people living in Coldharbour to reach Dorking or people making the direction in the opposite direction.

She says counts of cyclists were taken before the 2012 Olympics. Since then there has been an explosion of riders on the Coldharbour Lane, she says.

There are deficiencies in the process, she adds.


Opponents of the traffic survey and safety audit: Pat Smith

Mrs Smith says no traffic survey has been undertaken on the route through Dorking or from the A29 to Knoll Road, the route which then joins Coldharbour Lane. She says traffic is heavy for much of the day in Dorking. No traffic survey means we do not know the extent of the problem.

She said Coldharbour Lane would be closed 9am-7pm when the rig arrived. The Traffic Management Plan did not say how the rig would be moved to Coldharbour Lane. The main effects would be felt in Flint Hill but there had been no survey in that area.

She asks for a survey to be carried out on Flint Hill and other Dorking roads.


Opponents of the traffic survey and safety audit: Pam Smith

Pam Smith said there was no alternative route from her home on Coldharbour Lane. The majority of householders are concerned because no one has talked to them, she says. There are two businesses, which have vehicles going in and out at any time. They would not know if a lorry was on the road.

One resident has a daily hospital appointment, she says. There are also 76 allotments on the route.

She asks the committee to take account of the residents on the lane and to drive along the lane.


Opponents of the traffic survey and safety audit: Alan Hustings

Mr Hustings tells the committee he lives in Coldharbour.

He says the route to Bury Hill Wood is one of the most popular cycling routes in the UK. He says neither the Traffic Management Plan nor the safety audit take account of what would happen if a heavy goods vehicle going uphill encounters a cyclist travelling in the same direction.

“For much of the lane you can’t safely overtake a cyclist in a normal car, let alone these massive trucks.”

Neither the plan nor the audit mention this “huge risk”, he says.

The survey did not find evidence of pedestrians or horse riders on a Saturday morning.

“So there’s no risk to mitigate – at any time. That is the logic of the Traffic Survey”.

“The traffic survey concludes there is no risk to pedestrians or equestirans so the Traffic Management Plan amkes no provision for them”.

Mr Hustings adds that Europa has never given a figure for the total HGV movements in the proposed 18 week period of the development.

He says there is no typical transit time for HGVs between Knoll Road and the site 3.8km away at the other end of four traffic controls.

“So an unknown number of vehicles taking an unknown time each have to be squeezed into a timescale strictly defined by condition?

“Will Coldharbour Lane in practice be closed to non-site traffic throughout the duration of the scheme?”

Mr Hustings says

“You do not have the information to approve this Traffic Management Plan. And if you were to approve it, you would be overruling the advice of an independent safety audit and putting lives at risk”.


Traffic survey and safety audit

The agenda is changed for the meeting to look first at the survey and audit.

Meeting underway
Committee chair Tim Hall opens the meeting

Councillors gathering

Speakers gathering in the committee room

LH planning meeting 1.jpg

16 replies »

  1. I hope the nine speakers from local groups opposed to the operation including Leith Hill Action Group and A Voice for Leith Hill find reason and understanding at this Surrey County Council Traffic Planning meeting.
    Coldharbour Lane is totally and irrefutably unsuitable for HGV’s let alone LHV’s.

    • Which road? Two-way traffic is already tricky on Coldharbour Lane, because it’s so narrow. I’ve come across queues of cars inching along to squeeze past an oncoming tourist coach. Scale that up to several hundred HGV movements and you have a serious problem. Closing the road would only be a solution for Europa, as everyone else would be pushed onto Hollow Lane, Broomehall Lane, etc (equally narrow and perilous for passing large vehicles).

      • There would only be more movements when setting up the site.

        1000 barrels of oil a day would be approx. 4 trucks 1 every 2 hrs ish. Hardly hundreds. Shall we keeping damaging the planet shipping from the middle east instead.

        • MrsM
          Shall we keeping damaging the planet shipping from the middle east instead….ALL fossil fuel damages the planet. Probably best to realise that we need to reduce consumption fast; not argue where it comes from….

        • Mrs M, have you actually looked at Coldharbour Lane? The photos even? look, Coldharbour Lane barely accommodates a single one way HGV, let alone two, and that one has all ready severely damaged the road and the embankments?
          “Damaging the planet shipping from the middle east instead.”?
          Why not say we should not be extracting shale gas and oil from anywhere and transporting it anywhere by what ever means in the first place?
          That way, there would be NO damage at all?
          Now that, is a sensible sustainable strategy that would fit your criteria to stop the damage isn’t it! you see it all comes back to the act which generates all that damage, and that is the insanity of continuing oil and gas extraction anywhere when the planet is all ready awash with the stuff!
          But! This is about Coldharbour Lane isnt it?
          Not the shipping lanes? or perhaps you would rather divert and ocean going tanker to travel along the lane??
          None so blind as those who will not see.

  2. I was surprised to hear that Cllr Jeff Harris has been unable to find a photo of BDF28..the rig..It can be found on British Drilling and Freezing web site. A link has been sent to him.

  3. Dianna-the oil would be sold to the existing oil refinery at Fawley, just like the oil from other sites across the Weald, and from Wytch Farm. It has all been subject to a great deal of documentation, and the French seem to like the idea. (That should keep Giggle busy!)
    However, sorry Dianna but Sherwulfe has decided that your next holiday, flying out of Gatwick-using aviation fuel-, should not go ahead. Whilst that may not concern you I suspect there are millions who would not share that opinion, hence the plans for expansion of Gatwick and Heathrow.
    I would rather avoid another Torrey Canyon, to facilitate those holidays, and of course, business travel. But, hot air seems to be the favoured solution by some.

    • Sorry martin another o£$&g myth is about to bite the duster. Jet fuel from seawater? Now that is a practically inexhaustible supply! just so long as we dont pollute the planet in the meantime that is? And how do we assure we dont cock it all up? By not extracting any more oil and gas of course!

      Synthetic jet fuel is all ready on the way and is gaining ground, that is where our tax pounds should be placed.

      Read and weep.

      “Synthetic jet fuel
      A significant effort is under way to certify Fischer–Tropsch (FT) Synthesized Paraffinic Kerosene (SPK) synthetic fuels for use in United States and international aviation fleets. In this effort is being led by an industry coalition known as the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI),[28] also supported by a parallel initiative under way in the USAF,[29] to certify FT fuel for use in all aviation platforms. The USAF has a stated goal of certifying its entire fleet for use with FT synthetic fuel blends by 2011.[30] The CAAFI initiative aims to certify the civilian aviation fleet for FT synthetic fuels blends by 2010, and has programs under way to certify Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) (aka Hydrogenated Renewable Jet (HRJ)) SPK biofuels as early as 2013.[31] “Hydroprocessed” and “hydrotreated” have also been used in lieu of “hydrogenated”. Both FT and HEFA based SPKs blended with JP-8 are specified in MIL-DTL-83133H.

      Some synthetic jet fuels show a reduction in pollutants such as SOx, NOx, particulate matter, and sometimes carbon emissions. It is envisaged that usage of synthetic jet fuels will increase air quality around airports which will be particularly advantageous at inner city airports.

      Qatar Airways became the first airline to operate a commercial flight on a 50:50 blend of synthetic Gas to Liquid (GTL) jet fuel and conventional jet fuel. The natural gas derived synthetic kerosene for the six-hour flight from London to Doha came from Shell’s GTL plant in Bintulu, Malaysia.
      The world’s first passenger aircraft flight to use only synthetic jet fuel was from Lanseria International Airport to Cape Town International Airport on September 22, 2010. The fuel was developed by Sasol.
      Chemist Heather Willauer is leading a team of researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory who are developing a process to make jet fuel from seawater. The technology requires an input of electrical energy to separate carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) gas from seawater using an iron-based catalyst, followed by an oligomerization step wherein carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen are recombined into long-chain hydrocarbons, using zeolite as the catalyst. The technology is expected to be deployed in the 2020s by U.S. Navy warships, especially nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.”


    • ‘sorry Dianna but Sherwulfe has decided that your next holiday, flying out of Gatwick-using aviation fuel-, should not go ahead’ – and this happened when?

      Stop making up fake news! Not even sure if Dianna is off on holiday, or flying, or out of Gatwick?….do you talk in your sleep? are these nightmares about the truth finally getting to you? Dear me; there there…..

  4. Good job the Broadford Billower is about to prove the concept. Only a matter of time before they run out of poor excuses to defer.

  5. Lorries delivering bricks from local brick works don’t seem to have a problem getting down these roads. I often see them and with sensible driving there is not a problem .

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