A 17-year-old climate activist from Brockham in Surrey is urging local people to object to plans for 15 years of oil production plans in her village as the deadline approaches for public comments.
Chloe Pearce has been leafleting local homes and campaigning on social media against a planning application by Angus Energy.
The company is seeking permission to produce oil until 2036 from a well at its Brockham site in the Surrey greenbelt.
A Surrey County Council public consultation on the application runs until Monday 20 December 2021.
Chloe Pearce said the proposal contradicted Surrey County Council’s climate policy and international agreements made at the climate talks in Glasgow last month:
“I have been campaigning against the application, as I believe that it goes against what was agreed on by the government at COP26 and the declaration by the Council that there is a climate emergency.
“Rejecting this application means a lot to me, as someone who cares about the environment and the effects of climate change. It hits even harder when it’s the area that you have grown up in.
“Therefore, I have been campaigning locally and on social media to spread the message of how oil drilling will affect our futures and the village’s future.”
She said most people she had talked to hadn’t heard about the application but supported her actions.
Reinjecting waste fluid
No oil has been produced at the Brockham well site since November 2018.
Angus Energy has said it needed to reinject waste fluid into rocks beneath the site to make the oil flow commercially from the Portland Sandstone reservoir.
But it said the waste fluid produced from Brockham alone was “insufficient to restore reservoir pressure”.
The local campaign group, Brockham Oil Watch, said:
“This would mean truckloads of toxic, radioactive and salty waste fluids coming through local country roads to be disposed of at Brockham.
“We are opposed to any plans to restart production from the Portland Sandstone reservoir due to the associated unacceptable environmental risks.
“This means that the current application should be refused and that all wells at Brockham should be properly plugged and the site restored.”
The Environment Agency prohibited waste fluid reinjection at Brockham in 2018 and is currently considering a new proposal from Angus Energy.
Brockham Oil Watch said:
“In our view, a positive decision would be a major retrograde step.”
- Surrey County Council has currently listed the Brockham planning application to be decided by planning officers under delegated powers, rather than by the planning committee of elected councillors.