The company behind plans to drill for oil and gas near the Surrey village of Dunsfold has applied for permission to build a road junction on common land.
A notice in Dunsfold confirmed that a subsidiary of UK Oil & Gas plc had submitted an application to the Environment Secretary.
The application, under the Commons Act 2006, will be decided by a planning inspector.
It seeks permission for work on the verges on the southern side of Dunsfold Road:
- Construction and use of the junction of the site access track and Dunsfold Road
- Creation of sight visibility splays on both sides of the junction
- Installation of removable bollards on an area covering 403 square metres
People are invited to comment on the application until 23 August 2019 (see Commenting on the application below)
The issue of ownership of the verges on Dunsfold Road was raised by residents during a meeting organised by Waverley Borough Council last month.
So far this year (2019), there have been 36 decisions about work on common land in England.
Of these, 33 (92%) were granted and 3 (8%) refused.
Among the applications that were refused was one for an area of tarmac next to an existing McDonalds restaurant on Petridgewood Common, also in Surrey.
The planning inspector in this case said:
“the works proposed are in the interests of a private business. I have not identified any benefit to the public interest arising from the works which outweighs the harm to the interests of users of the common.”
The other refusals were to enclose common land. In both cases, the inspectors said the benefits of the fencing did not outweigh the effects on the rights of public access.
Commenting on the application
The UKOG application and documents are available to view until 23 August 2019 at:
- Cranleigh Library, High Street, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8AE
- Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1HR
Copies can also be obtained from UKOG’s consultants, The Zetland Group Limited, The Innovation Centre, Vienna Court, Kirkleatham Business Park, Redcar TS10 5SH
Representations should be sent to the Planning Inspectorate Commons Team, 3F Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN by 23 August 2019