Regulation

Thousand objections to Horse Hill oil drilling and production plans delay decision

180405 HH Keith Taylor visit UWOC6

Opponents of UKOG drilling site at Horse Hill in Surrey, 5 April 2018. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

There have been at least a thousand objections to plans by UK Oil & Gas for 20 years of oil production at its site at Horse Hill, Surrey County Council has confirmed.

More objections to the scheme, which also includes four new wells at the site near Horley, are still being submitted, the council said.

The large number of responses to the public consultation has delayed a decision on the application, which had been scheduled first for March and then April.

The next available meeting of the council’s planning committee is in May but it is not certain whether the application will be ready in time.

The chair of the planning committee, Cllr Tim Hall, said:

“Due to a mixture of factors, including a thousand objections for the Horse Hill oil site – and they are still coming – there will not be a meeting on the 17 April. Our next meeting will be the 22nd of May, which will definitely be happening. “

A council spokesperson said:

“The application is still under consideration – there’s not a firm date yet for it to go to committee but it could be May’s meeting.”

The delay will take the application beyond the statutory time for a planning decision. Major developments must be decided within 13 weeks and those requiring an environmental impact assessment within 16 weeks. A decision for the Horse Hill on 22 May 2019 would be 22 weeks after the application was validated.

181220 Horse Hill site plan HHDL

Site plan for the proposed extension to the Horse Hill oil site in Surrey. Source: Horse Hill Developments Ltd

The Horse Hill application, which comprised 95 separate documents, was submitted in December 2018.

As well as the production and oil drilling plans, it seeks to:

  • store more than 9,000 barrels of oil in seven tanks
  • drill a water reinjection well
  • install six surface mounted pumps
  • construct a process and storage area and tanker loading facility
  • install produced water tanks, enclosed ground flare, oil heater with an exhaust stack, four gas to power electricity generators, oil separators and water monitoring boreholes

This is the third major application for the site. The first exploration well, called HH-1, was granted permission in 2012 and drilled in 2014. A second application, granted in 2017, allowed for another appraisal well, HH-2, and a sidetrack, HH-1z. These wells have not yet been drilled.

The site operator, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, is now a subsidiary company of UK Oil & Gas.

UKOG company profile

Horse Hill details

Follow UK onshore oil and gas proposals with DrillOrDrop’s planning page

9 replies »

  1. So who is going to say it’s a Russian Bot ? Thousand eh ? Must be taking seriously to put the meeting back ?

  2. So what exactly are the objectors who all signed 1,000 times objecting to?
    UKPLC switch of the lights, and heating / cooking for a week and these people will be gasping for energy?,
    what by oil?,
    what by gas? They wouldn’t care as long as companies and people don’t get rich producing it!! Nuff said…

  3. Maybe some of these objections should be checked probably more fraudulent ones than LSE on a bad day.Every local I’ve heard from has no problems with this site .In fact the 6% royalty would be more than welcome by our local community.

  4. Bit of tongue in cheek in my earlier comment.

    However, it seems this is the cop out for local decision making. Over run the time limit and someone else will make the difficult decisions for you. It will be corrected at some time, and the council who is pushing it at the time will get into deep “effluent”.

    Meanwhile, UKOG probably not too concerned, as they have plenty of work to progress at HH.

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