Not if these councillors have anything to do with it.
They want us to ‘all stand together.’
The oil and gas giant (UCOG) has decided to ignore the decisions of Waverley Borough and Surrey County Councils. Instead, it will ask the Government to over-rule the refusal for a drilling site on land owned by Alfold man Ashley Ward.
However, the deputy leader Paul Follows and his colleagues, including Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend and Godalming’s Green Party Cllr Steve Williams want residents to know – they are on the case.
Many of you will be aware the UKOG has filed an appeal against the refusal decision issued to it several months ago. They were attempting to create and maintain a new oil drilling site in Waverley, just outside Dunsfold.
We have been given a date for that appeal now, which is scheduled for 10:00 on 27 July 2021.
Waverley Borough Council has decided to take up its legal right as what is referred to as ‘rule 11 party’ to take part and fight this appeal too. We do this on behalf of those residents and businesses that are directly impacted, but also on behalf of all residents in defence of our natural environment and in-line with the values we have declared as part of our climate emergency motion.
Cllr Liz Townsend, Cllr Steve Williams and I (Cllr Follows) have also been in discussion with a large local residents group on this matter (Protect Dunsfold), Waverley Friends of the Earth, a number of local businesses as well as the local parish councils that are impacted (Alfold Parish and Dunsfold Parish).
We have now reached an in-principal agreement to stand together as a united front in this matter, in which Waverley Borough Council will take the lead as the local authority.
As this was a minerals planning application, Surrey County Council is the authority UKOG is appealing against – so it is our intention to be a ‘critical friend’ to Surrey in this matter and ensure that they put up a robust defence of their aspects of this.
I know many residents will see this is very good news and I am very proud that we here at Waverley BC will be stepping up to fight this.