Horse Hill crude oil storage plan approved

Surrey County Council has granted planning permission for the storage of more than 100 tonnes of crude oil at the Horse Hill production site near Gatwick.

Horse Hill oil site near Gatwick Airport, October 2018. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

The decision, issued today, was taken by planning officers under delegated powers.

It limits the weight of crude oil that can be stored on the site to 112.46 tonnes.

The site operator, Horse Hill Developments, had originally applied to store up to 285 tonnes. But in April 2021, the company cut the planned capacity by more than 80%.

There was just one objections from statutory consultees to the application.

Charlwood Parish Council commented that this was inappropriate development in the greenbelt and was not compatible with government policy on climate change.

Granting the permission, planning officers said:

“In relation to public health and safety neither the Health and Safety Executive nor the Environment Agency has objected to the proposal and it is clear from their comments that the risk from the proposal is considered to be small and manageable in the event of an incident.”

Permission for long-term oil production at Horse Hill was granted in September 2019.

The production decision is the subject of a three-year legal challenge by environmental campaigner, Sarah Finch. Yesterday, she announced that her case would be heard, probably next year, by the Supreme Court.

DrillOrDrop interview with Sarah Finch

3 replies »

  1. Let’s hope they don’t have “an incident” in the middle of a drought when the countryside is tinder dry and even a carelessly discarded glass bottle is sufficient to set it alight!

  2. Or, a protestor is careless with their disposable BBQ, their camp fire or feels it is required to let off a flare.

    Sorry alex, I know accidents do happen, but I tend to think that those trained and used to handling flammable products are less of a risk than those who are not. I also believe my thoughts would be supported by any risk analyses, but it doesn’t seem to stop protestors trespassing upon such sites and refineries.

    • I tend to agree, those who’s job it is to control a storage plan as per the UK oil and gas regulations are more than capable of such. Refined petrol at filling station forecourt are ten times more likely to be set alight, and similar to the tanker transportation of such, but the anti (we’s) aren’t interested in filling stations as they’ll need to fill their 3 litre BMWs to get to the next protest!! sic

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