Planners at Surrey County Council have recommended approval of a retrospective planning application for offices, equipment, lighting, fencing and gates at Angus Energy’s oil site at Brockham.
But they have said it should be made clear to the company that if permission were granted it did not give consent for production from a disputed well.
The application (MO/2017/0916) is due to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday 13 September 2017.
Brockham Oil Watch, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Brockham Parish Council have said the application should not be considered until the dispute over the well has been resolved.
The County Council has said Angus Energy did not have planning permission to drill a sidetrack well in January 2017. The council also maintains that there is no permission for production from the sidetrack.
Angus Energy has consistently said it had consent for both drilling and production.
A report by council planners on the retrospective application was published today. It said:
“Officers are in a discussion with the applicant in respect of the drilling activities on the sidetrack well BRX-4Z. In the views of Officers, it is a fact that no planning permission has been granted by the County Planning Authority for the production of oil from the wellheads other than BRX1 and BRX2.
“In any event, there are no proposed or new oil production and drilling activities in this retrospective application.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Officers recommend that an informative is imposed to remind the applicant that the grant of planning permission relates solely to the installation of the on-site facilities as ancillary development to the permitted drilling and production activities under planning permission (ref. MO06/1294) which relates to BRX1 and BRX2.”
The report concluded that the retrospective application for equipment, buildings and fencing was reversible and would not prevent the long-term restoration and aftercare of the site. The scale of the development was modest, the report said, and would not increase the footprint of the site.
“Officers therefore consider that the facilities would have a minor impact on the Green Belt, and therefore limited harm and would otherwise accord with Green Belt policy nationally and in the Development Plan.”
The planners recommended permission be granted until 31 December 2036 subject to conditions on working hours, lighting, controls over the use of CCTV cameras and restrictions on further plant, buildings or machinery being installed without approval from the council.