Will drillng for oil and gas at Dunsfold become more attractive – due to the energy crisis?

Why no decision on this Minerals & Waste Appeal on land south of Dunsfold Road?

A public inquiry in July 2021  and residents in the villages around the Hascombe Hills are still waiting for  Communities Secretary Michael Glove to make up his mind WHY?

Thel Land South of Dunsfold Road and East of High Loxley Road has been earmarked by UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) as a drilling site.

Could Waverley Borough Council hold the vital key to UKOG’s   and landowner Ashley Ward’s cunning plans?

Your Waverley’  is responsible for the common land that UKOG would need to cross to start drilling on land off Pratts Corner if the Government gives the go-ahead. However, it has warned that it will not allow site vehicles to cross common land.

Its leader, Paul Follows, says

“If the application is approved the council is prepared to fight to protect the common land verges at Dunsfold.”

He said Waverley would install cameras at the junction and he expected local people would monitor traffic to the site. He certainly has the residents of Dunsfold and Hascombe behind him. But no doubt the Conservatives Fact Check website will blame him personally for putting the council’s weight behind objectors?

Waverley’s environment portfolio holder, Steve Williams has described public demonstrations at the site on Dunsfold Road  as “magnificent.” 

“Residents have demonstrated that it is not possible for HGVs, such as those used by UKOG, to get to the site that they propose to drill without encroaching on Waverley common land.”

 Referring to a slogan from World War 1 and the Spanish Civil War, he said his message to UKOG was

“They shall not pass”.

The landowner of the proposed site, Ashley Ward, claims lorries containing 44 cattle had successfully been around the junction onto High Loxley Road. He said the UKOG scheme included plans to improve the Pratts Corner junction.

Well – he wouldn’t he, because he has a shedload of plans for the land he purloined from an elderly lady during her dying days?

Want to see what else Mr Ward is up to – read these recent posts.

An Alfold resident’s bid to set up a farming enterprise in Dunsfold has failed…

An Alfold man who flogged off his former pad to an A list celebrity wants to set up home in Dunsfold.

 Earlier this year  SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt said the scheme by UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) would take the country in “exactly the wrong direction”.

 Objectors showed that large heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) would be unable to manoeuvre around a tight junction without encroaching on common land.

Waverley Borough Council, which is responsible for the borough’s common land, has said it would not permit site vehicles to cross the common land.

 Said Waverley Leader and Surrey County Councillor Paul Follows, 

“If the application is approved the council is prepared to fight to protect the common land verges at Dunsfold.”

He said the council would install cameras at the junction and he expected local people would monitor traffic to the site.

The council’s environment portfolio holder, Steve Williams, described the public demonstration as “ magnificent.”

“they demonstrated that it is not possible for HGVs, such as those used by UKOG, to get to the site that they propose to drill without encroaching on Waverley common land.”

 

Planning appeal against the refusal of planning application ref WA/2019/0796 by Surrey County Council. Waverley submitted an objection to the planning application and participated in the inquiry as an interested party (Rule 6 Party).

 Jeremy Hunt said:

“It is extraordinary after COP26 in Glasgow that we are even thinking about drilling for oil and gas in this area. And you can see, by the huge number of objectors representing all the local political parties, that we are completely united in our opposition.

The proposed drill site, also known as Loxley, was refused twice by Surrey County Council in 2020 and went to a public inquiry in 2021.

 Communities’ Secretary, Michael Gove, also a Surrey MP, will make the final decision on the scheme. However, he is certainly taking his time about it!

Villager advises Michael Gove.

“To listen to what people in the local area are saying and what the government is saying about its environmental objectives. We’ve got to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 on 1990 levels. This is going to take us in the wrong direction.”

Opponents say it is impossible for an HGV not to encroach on common land verges.

 

Objectors stand with their toes on the edge of the verge as a life-size simulation of an HGV attempted to navigate the junction.

Site Address: Land South of Dunsfold Road and East of High Loxley Road, Dunsfold, Surrey, GU8 4BW

Appellant’s Name: UKOG (234) Ltd.Appeal start date: 1 March 2021

The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government was Mike Robins MSc BSc(Hons) MRTPI. 

The Core Document Library containing the proofs of evidence and other relevant appeal documents is available on the Surrey County Council website.

The Planning Appeals Casework Portal (reference APP/B3600/W/21/3268579) contains further information and when made the decision will be published here. Please note the deadline for representations has passed.

The appeal form (PDF – 73kb) and other appeal documentation can be found on Surrey County Council’s planning register under the SCC reference 2021/0034.

For further details also see the original planning application file SCC reference 2019/0072, which contains the planning application documents and plans, decision notice, officer report and other background papers.

For details relating to the response of Waverley Borough Council, WA/2019/0796

3 thoughts on “Will drillng for oil and gas at Dunsfold become more attractive – due to the energy crisis?”

  1. This linking of UKOGs pathetic’hydrocarbon exploration efforts with ongoing global crises is transparent.

    First expending lots of “private investor” cash to gain local hydrocarbons will help solve climate change.
    Next it will help the country with a shortage of medical tubes and PPE
    Now the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes it imperative to secure gas and oil for Britain
    and eventually we will return to hydrogen to solve the climate agenda.

    The reality is that no independent person or oil company has any confidence in the suggestion that there is any significant hydrocarbon capable of being recovered under Dunsfold Park and those that profess they do have a vested personal financial interest in saying so despite many years of saying the exact same thing and failing, all the while drawing a significant salary for investing “other peoples money” (and none of their own) in this woeful enterprise.

    All the supposed benefits are a long way off, assuming Gove gives permission to drill at Loxley, which even UKOGs “in the money” Chair Sanderson said at the appeal is in the “wrong place” (as a handy explanation to hard pressed “investors” when/if he fails again).

    If there is a national emergency and Gove believed that UKOG should be allowed to see if they can find anything under Dunsfold Park then He should order the “Biggest Brownfield in Waverley” to make an acre or two available, preferably on the fireground at the end of the disused runway where a couple of years fiddling around with drilling rigs will go unnoticed, while Dunsfold Park now transforming into the “Biggest landbank in the south of England” is tossed around between US Hedge Funds for half a decade before anyone puts hand to shovel and actually builds any houses, the need for which, in this location, is highly questionable.

    If hydrocarbons are found there will be a ready industrial or domestic gas consumer available on Dunsfold Park by the time they are in production and an oil well will sit happily beside the Wings and Wheels museum (already permitted) and the Wey and Arun Canal which, when fully restored, may become a very low carbon means of transport for crude oil down to the sea and on to Fawley, on its way eliminating road transport and revitalising industry by creating a demand for horse drawn canal oil tankers to transport oil from Dunsfold and even a revitalised Broadford Bridge on to Fawley.

    This will make Dunsfold a true hub of a circular industrial history as we head towards a no carbon future.

    But lets not hold our breath.

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