Regulation

New meeting date and deadline for permit consultation on oil drilling near Leith Hill, Surrey

Leith Hill tree house

Protester tree house at site of Europa’s exploration site at Bury Hill Wood, near Leith Hill, Surrey. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The Environment Agency has re-arranged a public information meeting about Europa’s oil exploration plans in Surrey, after last week’s event was cancelled.

Drilling at the Bury Hill Wood site, near the Leith Hill beauty spot, is waiting for an environmental permit and approval of a traffic management plan.

Last month, the Environment Agency (EA) announced it was minded to grant the permit and invited a new round of comments.

As part of the consultation, it  arranged a drop-in meeting in Dorking. This was postponed because of concerns about bad weather. It will now take place on Thursday 15 March  2018 between 2pm and 7.30pm at Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1SG.

The deadline for comments has been extended for two weeks from 15 March to 29 March 2018. 

Opponents of drilling near Leith Hill had planned to submit an online petition against the scheme at last week’s meeting. The number of signatures now stands at more than 102,000.

An EA spokesperson said today:

“We were disappointed to have to postpone the event last week, due to bad weather. Our aim is to give everyone a chance to understand the proposed activity and to be able to attend, but without putting themselves at risk through travelling in hazardous conditions. This is an opportunity for local people to find out more about the operations at Holmwood and how we regulate these activities.

“An environmental permit sets out stringent conditions that a site must adhere to. We will not issue an environmental permit for a site if we consider that activities taking place will cause significant pollution to the environment or harm to human health.

“Although we are minded to approve the applications for the bespoke and standard rules permit, we are still in the determination process and a final decision has not yet been made. We want to hear from the public and understand people’s views on the application. Everybody has the chance to see what the permits may look like and to raise any additional concerns before we make any final decision.”

  • The expected meeting of Surrey County Council’s planning committee at which Europa’s traffic management plan is due to be discussed is 18 April 2018

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