Angus Energy response on Brockham planning application

Angus Energy

Angus Energy has denied that its planning application on the Brockham oil site in Surrey was found to be invalid.

DrillOrDrop reported yesterday on an email from Surrey County Council to a resident about the application at Brockham which said:

“The application was found to be invalid and the applicant has been informed. A revised submission is awaited and will be considered on its merits.

“We will let you know when a valid application has been received.”

18017SCC Brockham planning application

Redacted version of email

But in the updated Frequently Asked Questions section of Angus Energy’s website the company added a new question, number 10, “Did the Council find your normalization application to be “invalid”?

The company replied:


“As part of our normal process we are in dialogue with all of our regulators all the time. There are no issues with our application, nor is it “invalid” .

“An activist website claimed it was “invalid” in quotes. The site has a single source, unnamed and published unverified sentences on a web page. Nor did they reference”

180121 Angus Energy FAQ1

Extract from Angus Energy website

This evening, Angus Energy updated the FAQ again with more information in the answer to question 10.

The company added:

“As part of the dialogue, the SCC [Surrey County Council] requested additional details with two titles, Non Validation Issues and Validation Issues. Validation issues include notes such as “Application Form (Section 7): The Title ….. should read ‘Site Boundary Plan’ whilst under Non Validation Issues requests further details on additional equipment or HGV movements.

“In sum, all are part of an ongoing process and dialogue we maintain with all regulators. There are strict regulations, highly technical equipment, safety concerns from both parties etc. The subject matter is dense.

“Broadly speaking, the process for any planning issue is not as simple as having your passport stamped.

“Angus Energy is pleased with the progress of the application. The company is working quickly and efficiently to provide the SCC with additional details and rectify any clerical errors.

“Unfortunately, it makes a great headline. An activist website claimed it was “invalid” in quotes. The site did not reference FAQs # 9. which is the subject matter of the headline. It had a single source, unnamed and published unverified sentences on a web page and no context.”


180121Angus Energy FAQ2

Revised update on Angus Energy’s FAQ section of its website

In response to the question number 9 “Are you now communicating with the SCC [Surrey County Council]?”, the company added:

“As in any working relationship, the SCC and Angus Energy maintain a dialogue on all matters including the application. For example, on 12 January, the SCC requested additional details for inclusion in the normalization application process. The Company and the SCC work together to ensure the Council’s needs are satisfied without delaying the process.”

  • DrillOrDrop saw a copy of the Surrey County Council email late on 17 January 2018. On 18 January 2018, we invited Angus Energy by phone and email to comment on it. The company did not respond by 20 January when we published the article. DrillOrDrop has always invited Angus Energy to comment on reports about the company. It has never responded directly.

Updated on 21 January 2018 to include a redacted version of the email with the permission of the recipient


19 replies »

  1. So, based on a single unnamed source, that was not validated, and in the absence of comment from Angus to assure some balance, a decision was taken to publish. Hmmm. No wonder the quotation marks were used.


      A little song for your children to sing on this rainy Sunday, from a validated source, no zombie company…..unlike some we could mention?

      And a little Bob Dylan song, slightly altered for the true adults that take responsibility for the planet and the ecology……and by default, the economy……

      Corrina, Corrina lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      We don’t love you no mo’
      We don’t love you CarrillIon, tell the world we don’t
      We don’t love you CarrillIon, tell the world we don’t
      We pray every night that zombies learn to love prison so
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      We don’t love you no mo’
      We saw you Carillion, way deep in the the sleaze
      We saw you Carillion, way deep in the the sleaze
      If you see them Barclays babies, send them home to seize
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      We dont love you no mo’
      Carrillon, CarrillIon, why don’t you never come clean
      Carrillon, CarrillIon, why don’t you never come clean
      You soon be mighty tired, bein’ in a cell all alone
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      Carrillon, CarrillIon
      We dont love you no mo’

    • Ruth always invites Angus to comment on stories she is writing concerning the company, usually contacting them by phone and email. In this case, a read receipt on the email showed that it was read by a senior member of the company.

      The company has never responded to DrillOrDrop requests for reaction or clarification..

      It is surely unreasonable that a company should be able to prevent a story from appearing by simply declining to comment on it.

      • Doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that a reasonable company would refuse to respond to an unreasonable activist blog page.

    • Yes, the smug article posted by Ruth now looks like a real junior varsity effort by the “activist website” DoD. At least Angus Energy calls DoD for what it is.

      This little episode is so symbolic of what is wrong with the dying anti-frack movement. That movement is founded upon unverified “stories” that don’t have basis in fact.

      No movement can survive when it is built upon loose facts and shoddy reporting.

  2. No. See the last paragraph above, where Ruth says that she herself saw the Surrey County Council email to a local resident. Ruth, time for Surrey County Council to officially confirm the status of Angus Energy application in a public statement? Time for us all to remember that Angus Energy more or less steamrollered Surrey County Council over the disputed side track well and claimed planning permission had been given for production while Surrey County Council emphatically said it had not, and had informed Angus Energy that that was the case. Here it looks like Angus are determined to steamroller and obfuscate (talented bunch!) again.

  3. Angus energy also posted in FAQs about having all the permissions to drill BRX4z which has proved to be wrong, I know who I would rather believe and its not the company that has promised so much yet delivered nothing. I’m sure it will come to light when Angus don’t get to the planning meeting in February.

  4. There is no obligation for Angus to respond to DOD.
    If they decide not to, that is their choice. That does not mean that printing a one sided story based on flimsy evidence puts any responsibility back upon them, or makes the one side any more valid. The redacted E-mail could have come from the SCC tea lady. If it is a normal, authorised spokesperson, why the need to redact it?

    I suppose for a weekend without any real news for the antis, that objective has been met, but I can’t see this as DOD finest hour. It’s a shame, because I enjoy what is normally an interesting and informative service, with a degree of balance,but there has become a pattern to the coverage of Angus which is looking somewhat “modified”. In itself, not really a significant issue as their site will shortly be up and running. How it gets there will be the interesting part.

    • Martin, the redacted email did not come from the tea-lady.

      Previously threats have been made to sue named staff in the SCC planning department. To try and avoid such unpleasantness, we took the decision to redact the name of the SCC staff member.

      • We understand completely Paul and Ruth. Just because zombie companies like Angus like to act all high and mighty and too bitter and twisted to deign to answer a direct question. Well we can all play the name calling rhetoric game, lets see where that leads to shall we?
        Angus et al have continually and consistently shown an unfortunate tendency to screw up, and screw down without permission for that matter, and then to avoid answering an entirely justified direct question from Drill or Drop. In stead, Angus then resort to a childish petulant comment on their website accusing Drill or Drop of being an “activist” site which is simply pathetic and laughable. Activist fracktivist, fracktotwist, its all just childish silly and pathetic rhetoric unworthy of an adult company that should act like responsible people but clearly are not capable or responsible enough to do anything other than childish temper tantrums found out for [edited by moderator] the sticky fingers and the chocolate stains around their mouth and the empty cookie jar under their bed.
        I am sure SCC will confirm the contents of the e-mail in time and Angus and their smug smugger smuggest hangsters on will suddenly go very quiet and try to change the subject or make some weak excuse or other to try and save sticky stained face.
        Too late Angus and co con spirators, your faces (careful spelling there!) are well and truly absent without leave along with your pathetically non existent operational and pr credibility rating.
        Always a pleasure, have a nice day.

  5. In any case the SCC planning application was submitted “without prejudice’ meaning that Angus didn’t need it and even by placating SCC planning department it was never an admission that it was required and could not be construed as such except to the ill informed

  6. I find it hard to reconcile the two viewpoints here. On the one hand, SCC state that the Angus Energy application was ‘found to be invalid & the applicant informed’. On the other hand AE state it was ‘all part of an ongoing process’ and therefore not a problem, requiring them to provide more technical information + correction of some clerical errors.
    It might clarify matters to check the dictionary definition of the word ‘invalid’. The Oxford English Dictionary states: “(of an official document or procedure) not legally recognized because it contravenes a regulation or law.” SCC makes a point of using language precisely for many important reasons.

  7. You, know, it really is something and nothing. Any planning application to any council is subject to this kind of routine scrutiny. I find it in rather poor taste that the SCC staff found it necessary to go public with this. It is akin to laundering your underwear in public. On the one hand, I applaud SCC for being open and candid with their public but on the other hand, I think this email was just a little premature. An email saying that some details were being clarified between SCC and Angus Energy would have been both truthful and sufficient at this stage, I think.

    • Exactly. It is routine for relevant supporting information to be sought prior to a planning application being validated. This ‘story’ shows us more about how desperate DoD are to create headlines than anything else.

  8. Paul-if this comment was authorised I see no reason why any individual should fear being sued. All council employees, especially in the Planning Departments can suffer threats of being sued, especially in respect of building issues, but it is very strange that a council employee makes such a comment-in written form-but their name needs to be redacted. In this case, it simply makes the whole story suspect-but perhaps that’s just me following the old “courage of your conviction” adage.

    Anyway, at least there is a bit more clarity this am as to why Angus might have been a little busy towards the end of last week.

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