7 October 2017
Stop the Leith Hill oil drilling!
Hello to all our supporters.
On August 2nd, a combination of LHAG and A Voice For Leith Hill successfully argued at the Surrey County Council (“SCC”) Planning & Regulatory Committee that Europa’s proposed Traffic Management Scheme (“TMS”) should not be approved whilst key questions remained unanswered. This was followed on the same day by Mole Valley also recommending the TMS be refused.
In the last week or so, however, Europa have resubmitted the TMS (with virtually no changes) and SCC officers have again put it on the agenda for the 18th October Planning & Regulatory Committee at 10:30am. Incredibly, Mole Valley District Council have already rushed the revised TMS through their own planning committee with no warning, having first disqualified from voting key councillors that had previously objected to the TMS. It’s hard to see this as anything other than the most blatant of swindles, but that is the system we appear to be working in.
Even more outrageously, SCC officers have also now decided that the fencing applications that extend the boundary of the drill site count as completely separate planning applications to the main drill application and thus magically do not extend the boundary at all. This gets Europa off having to justify such a boundary increase. At the same time, SCC argue that the fencing applications are related to the drill application and thus are acceptable development proposals, because they are in aid of something already approved.
This have-your-cake-and-eat it approach seems to us obviously flawed logic and we are seeking urgent legal advice regarding judicial review should the application be approved on these grounds. But in the meantime, SCC officers have also rushed the fencing application back to the Planning & Regulatory Committee for 18th October.
There are so many problems with both the TMS and the fencing applications that rather than try to summarise them in this newsletter, we are simply attaching for you the objections that LHAG have made to SCC. We would strongly advise you to read these objections to familiarise yourself with the nonsense that your SCC officers apparently deem fit to go before the Planning & Regulatory Committee.
We would also be very grateful for if people could attend the 18th October Planning & Regulatory Committee at Kingston County Hall, at 10:30am. We appreciate that SCC have given extremely short notice, which makes this very difficult. Unfortunately, this just seems to be the contempt that our planning system holds the public in.