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 A listening panel by Waverley Borough Council this week heard calls for both applications to be withdrawn.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
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.