UKOG drops second access plan for Dunsfold well site

190719 Dunsfold access route

Map of new proposed access route to UKOG’s oil and gas site. Source: planning application

Plans for an alternative access to UKOG’s proposed oil and gas site at Dunsfold in Surrey have been withdrawn.

The application, published in July 2019, was a response to concerns about the original access route, UKOG said at the time.

But despite a separate public consultation and submission of more than 30 planning documents, the alternative route has been dropped.

Surrey County Council, which will decide the application, has marked it “withdawn” on its online register.

The main application, published in June 2019, for a site with two oil and gas wells, is still listed.

Residents in Dunsfold had criticised both the access in the original application, off Pratts Corner and High Loxley Road, and the alternative, off Dunsfold Road.

The revised route had been estimated by UKOG to take four weeks to build, involving 10 two-way lorry movements a day. According to the application, nine trees and an 11m section of hedgerow would have to be removed.

The access is understood to have crossed common land, a designated county site of archaeological importance and an area used by skylark, lapwing, common lizard and grass snake.

Revised application withdrawn

Extract from Surrey County Council planning register

UKOG told DrillOrDrop in July 2019:

“We had lots of feedback from our public event at Dunsfold Village Hall and a key one concerned our original access route.

“We were asked to pursue an alternative access off Dunsfold Road and this is the subject of the fresh application.”

There were rumours last month that the second access had been shelved. At the time, UKOG told DrillOrDrop the alternative “may not be needed” but that nothing had been decided.

The company did not respond to our questions about the withdrawal of the application.

The local community group, Protect Dunsfold, called in July 2019 for both the full application and the revised access plan to be withdrawn. It described the plans as “confused and muddled” and an “mpossible challenge” for decision-makers.

Today, a spokesperson for the group said:

“It is quite ridiculous that UKOG have been allowed to obfuscate their plans with this multiple access business causing people lots of wasted time and money.

“They originally wanted to use the Dunsfold Road access, as is quite clear from their initial planning documents, then they changed their mind and applied for the impossible and well-named “Pratts Corner” access. Then they switched back to the direct access claiming that they generously were responding to local requests at, presumably, huge inconvenience to themselves.

“Now they have withdrawn that application, presumably, because they knew there was no chance of getting permission to “conduct works” on common land so are now switching back to Pratts Corner – having admitted that Pratts Corner was problematical.

“The naked truth is that this well site is not at all an appropriate site for lots of reasons to do with the impact on local receptors and businesses and the transport, traffic and road implications are also impossible.”

The main application is now due to be discussed by councillors on 16 April 2020 after the most recent in a series of postponements.

Updated 13/3/2020: Committee updated from 25 March 2020 to 16 April 2020

9 replies »

  1. Seems a lot more mindful of local and environmental issues than certain “alternative” companies trying to rush through denuding countryside actions PRIOR to planning approval, trashing lizard habitats in the process. Compared to the activities of Mr. Musk in Germany, positively Gold Standard!

  2. What a load of tosh Martin, you will be saying that Myra Hindley is preferable to Adolf Hitler next UKOG are up a creek and so are it’s investors

    • And Jono joins the DoD Hall of Fame for making a statement that within a few hours is shown by facts to be fake news!

      Oops. They DID get a double, Jono.

      Maybe the treble over the next week?

  3. Thank you for your opinion, Jono.

    I understand that when alternatives are highlighted as having environmental issues it does get your sort of reaction. It also happened recently when it was shown that wind turbines were going to landfill at the end of their lives.
    The one that is simply ignored are the poor young kids handling cobalt in the DRC and what it does to their health, and the intention to trash the ocean floor in search of more cobalt, and other such materials. (No creek will be safe!)

    UKOG up a creek? Hmm. Well, it would appear not quite so far up the creek as Tesla in terms of recent share price movements, but much more to do with a virus than any creek, so we will see when that influence starts to lapse. Maybe those who might have made 50% return on Angus in a few hours, cashed in, and took advantage of a nice low entry price at UKOG awaiting the next RNS to see if they might get a double? There will be investors in all companies up the creek Jono as they all make individual decisions at different times. The lucky/more researched ones will be exactly where they want to be, others not. If they bought Tesla at $900 a few days ago they might be wishing they were in the UKOG creek! Many will be in both, shock/horror.

    There’s always gold-or hand gel. (Hand gel is an interesting one, as more plastic required to contain it. Wonder where that comes from?)

  4. High Loxley road is even narrower than Coldharbour Lane, the road to Leith Hill. Europa never got a TMP approved there, the access route made it unworkable.

    This is a similar shambles, it’s beginning to look like another dud isn’t it?

  5. Its also looking like a “cunning plan” on the part of UKOG – muddle the opposition, people waste time and money looking at the ‘preferred’ alternative access then quietly withdraw at last minute leaving little time for focused opposition to the original access route. IMHO, this penny-share company knows every trick in the planning books to try and get its schemes passed. I sincerely hope this time they FAIL.

  6. If that were true, Sarah, you may have a point.

    If anyone has had any real interest in this application there has been a huge amount of time to focus upon it. Unless they have been hibernating and just awoken!

    We will see on 25th March.

    Perhaps UKOG will need to follow the Wressle route and end up with costs against the Council? Hope not, as I suspect such will increase incrementally unless REAL reasons for rejection can be produced.

    I note that UKOG indicate their current costs of production of around $19/barrel at HH, and now working to reduce that even further. Hmm. If that is set against other sources of oil, it is VERY low. Perhaps, if oil is being used, and it is, then the most efficient sources should be used first?

    • UKOG are still in the appraisal phase after 6 years, the production phase of the licence hasn’t even began so can you show us how that $19 a barrel production cost figure is arrived at Martin?
      Unless directors wages, drilling 3 wells, planning applications, the long running injunction case and all that kit for the water ingress intervention are all free?

  7. Ermm, think you will find they have PRODUCED a lot of oil in that time, Dorkinian, from HH, to enable the calculations. I know you try and deny that has happened, but it has. What do you think exploration means?

    No company needs to be in full production to calculate cost of production. Do you really think anyone would believe that tosh?

    For example, they are able to calculate the likely return from using the gas to generate electricity. They are not doing so yet, but quite straight forward to calculate. Water ingress? Well, they need a water injection well in the future, so is water ingress that much of a problem or a blessing? That long running injunction case? You mean the one where their costs are being paid for?

    You really do not know much about how exploration and then production works, do you? And, I have not even started on tax allowances against future revenue. So, whilst you gleefully share the deception that delays in exploration are costing UKOG, they REVERSE when/if they reach production. Not so likely to recruit the gullible, but hey ho, that’s the reality. But, some will have the fallback to moan that not much tax is being collected, although they would be the ones who have caused that!

    Regarding taxes-how will UK purchase all these ventilators? Certainly not going to do so from imported oil. No tax revenue there. Perhaps UK will end up begging Norway to borrow a few?

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