UKOG’s Surrey drilling plans: Dunsfold decision postponed and new consultation on Horse Hill

Section of Dunsfold boreholes UKOG

UKOG’s proposed boreholes near Dunsfold in Surrey. Source: UKOG planning application

The decision on plans to drill two wells near a Surrey village has been delayed.

UK Oil & Gas has applied for permission to explore for oil and gas on the edge of Dunsfold near Godalming.

The decision on the scheme was due to be made by Surrey County Council’s planning committee at its September meeting. But this week, the council put the decision back to October.

The council had previously told DrillOrDrop:

“The statutory period for determination is 13 weeks.  However on such an application the determination period is likely to be extended during the consultation process when further information is required.”

A spokesperson said on the latest delay:

“The date published on the website is the earliest possible date when the application can be heard by the Planning and Regulatory Committee. Minerals and waste applications are often complex and raise a wide range of technical issues which is why the committee date changes.”

The application was validated on 28 May 2019. Using that date as the start time, the application should be decided by 26 August 2019. The closest scheduled planning meeting to this date was 11 September 2019.

But that meeting is also due to decide another UKOG application for long-term oil production at its Horse Hill site near Gatwick Airport (see update below).

The Dunsfold scheme got more complicated last week when UKOG submitted a second application for an alternative access to the site.

The public consultation on that application began today but residents have already complained that it makes decision-making an impossible challenge. A listening panel by Waverley Borough Council this week heard calls for both applications to be withdrawn. The consultation deadline on the second application is 27 August 2019.

According to Surrey’s planning register, the original Dunsfold application is now expected to be decided on 16 October 2019. At the time of writing, the application for the alternative access is due to be decided on 11 September 2019.

Update on Horse Hill

181220 Horse Hill diagram HHDL

Proposed additional wells at Horse Hill site in Surrey. Source: Horse Hill Developments Ltd

Surrey County Council began a third consultation last week on UKOG’s application for additional wells and 25 years of oil production at Horse Hill.

The new consultation is on new documents covering:

  • Geotechnical comments
  • Membrane layout for a proposed process and storage area
  • Clarification on landscape, visual and restoration comments

There were earlier consultations in January and May 2019.

The Horse Hill application, published in December 2018, has received more than a thousand objections and the planning decision is likely to be hotly contested.

The decision date has been postponed at least four times, moving from March 2019 to May, then June, July and now September.

The deadline for comments on the most recent Horse Hill consultation is 19 August 2019.

This gives planning officers 12 working days to review the responses before publishing their recommendation on the scheme a week before the September meeting.

7 replies »

  1. I know Paula C!

    Now we are left wondering whether the snowstorm has denied INEOS the chance to win the race. Shocking.

  2. Fren – you are correct however we could plant zillions of trees in UK but still not keep up with this:

    “Deforestation in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest rose more than 88% in June compared with the same month a year ago, the second consecutive month of rising forest destruction under the rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro.

    According to data from Brazil’s space agency, deforestation in the world’s largest tropical rainforest totaled 920 sq km (355 sq miles).

    The data showing the 88.4% deforestation increase is preliminary, but indicates the official annual figure, based on more detailed imaging and measured for the 12 months to the end of July, is well on track to surpass last year’s figure.

    In the first 11 months, deforestation has already reached 4,565 sq km (1,762 sq miles), a 15% increase over the same period in the previous year.”

    The antis in the UK need to get realistic about what is happening in the rest of the world….

  3. And pro frackers need to realise that the UK has nowhere near maximised on it’s renewable potential and does not have policies in place to do so.

    We have a secure, diverse, oil and gas supply. Now is exactly the time to invest heavily in cheap onshore wind which is what the majority of the UK public want.

    Just because other countries do not or cannot do what is needed does not mean that we don’t do it either.

    We should lead by example.

  4. Tell that to the sailors being rushed to the Gulf, John!!

    No, the majority of the UK public do not want cheap on shore wind. The land owners do, and the sellers of wind turbines do, but most do not-including fren who would rather see trees.

    All you do John is display how vested interest seeks to exploit climate change. On shore turbines and trees do not go together. That is pretty obvious. Plonk them in the sea, and have the land for trees and food production.

  5. Claire Perry gone…she was very much for allowing onshore wind to bid for CFDs but overruled. Her replacement perhaps? As long as they stick them in the Ribble Valley I have no problems with them.

    We should lead by example? Why? No one takes any notice of what we do. We just make ourselves less competitive and the rest of the world looks after no 1.

    Lets see what BoJo comes up with – he may be a big fan of onshore wind?

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