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.
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.