Leith Hill Action Group Newsletter 47 
March 2017
Stop the Leith Hill oil drilling!
 
Hello to all our supporters.
 
It’s time to write to object!
 
The latest in Surrey County Council’s series of letters to all of us concerns Application 2017/0001.  This is an application to erect a reptile fence on the drill site.
 
The erection of a reptile fence was always part of the requirements to meet Condition 9 (Ecology), and the proposed fence is unremarkable in itself.  However, the application contains within it a HUGE problem that we strongly urge you all to write to object to.
 
As you know, the number one defence Europa relied upon for why they should be allowed to drill was their insistence that they could complete the whole thing within an 18 week period.  We repeatedly pushed against this during the Public Inquiry, expressing scepticism that it was possible.  However, Europa never faltered in their firm assertion that this was what they could and would do.
 
It was on this 18 week basis that the Inspector granted the planning permission.  It was so important, and we had pushed so hard against it, that he put it as Condition 4 of the permission.
 
You can therefore imagine our outrage when we discovered that this application for a reptile fence is for 21 weeks, not 18Europa are trying to back on the very thing that they relied on to get permission in the first place!
 
This has to be a line in the sand for all of us.  It cannot be that any part of this application is allowed to extend for a single second outside the 18 week window that was the whole basis of the permission being granted.
 
The fact that Europa need to do some things in advance of other things is something they already knew when they made the application for planning permission and they should have taken it into account in their proposal.  It is unacceptable at this stage to identify something that needs to be started three weeks in advance, thus extending the project period.
 
Please write to register your objection in the usual way:
 
 
However you do it, please make sure you include your full name and postal address in your objection.  Letters should be sent by 27th March 2017.  
 
Latest LHAG success
 
The fight against Europa’s application for considerable extra industrialisation goes on.  This includes fencing, porta-cabins and various other paraphernalia that will be visible from Coldharbour Lane in a way that the original application would not have been.  They have made two such submissions -- one for 52 weeks (what a mockery of the 18 week permission!) and one for 18 weeks.  
 
Following legal representation from LHAG, the Secretary of State has now agreed that the 52 week fence requires a brand new Environmental Impact Assessment.  The implication of this decision is that the18 week fence would need the same, but we continue to have this debate with both Surrey County Council and the Secretary of State.
 
LHAG continue to work hard to scrutinise every planning application put forward, playing an active role in identifying areas of deficiency.  Of the plans put forward to date, many are still in the consultation stage as a result of such deficiencies.
 
 
Patrick Nolan
For LHAG
 
www.lhag.org.uk