Regulation

Date set for re-run of Dunsfold drilling decision

The second meeting to decide whether to grant planning permission for gas exploration near the Surrey village of Dunsfold has been set for 27 November 2020.

Proposed rig at Dunsfold drilling site. Source: UKOG

Surrey County Council ruled that the original decision to refuse consent was invalid. It said there were technical problems with the online meeting of the planning committee on 29 June 2020.

Committee members voted by six to five against the recommendation of planning officers to approve an application by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG).

The company has applied to construct a site, to be called Loxley, and drill and test vertical and sidetrack wells.

In a statement today, UKOG’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said:

“Despite the further delay to the PCM [planning committee meeting] rerun, UKOG welcomes the opportunity to restate why its low footprint Loxley gas project is of material local and national economic importance, representing an opportunity to power around 200,000 Surrey homes from Net Zero compliant UK gas.

“The submitted development presents minimal visual, local business and highway impacts and already has a full environmental permit from the Environment Agency.”

The June meeting heard that local councils and 84% of responses to the public consultation objected to the application. Concerns included the impact of the scheme on landscape, climate change, local businesses, air quality, light pollution, highway safety, noise and local ecology and heritage.

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